Friday, June 22, 2007

This is difficult for me.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

The above quote is Mt 5:43-48. Every time I read this, I cringe a little because I know that this is my biggest area of struggle. There are definitely people in my life who could be considered enemies. They have done things that were very hurtful to me and to my family. I find it very difficult to pray for these people. The Lord knows that hardness of my heart, and I have constant reminders of these folks in my life.

More often than not, when I am thinking of these people, I am like a petulant child stomping my feet and shouting things like, "I don't understand!" or "Why can they get away with that?" I know that I am fortunate that God is a very patient Father, and that He will continue to provide opportunities for me to act charitably until I finally get it that He wants me to love and pray for those who persecute me and make life difficult. He wants me to forgive seventy times seven times. That does not make it any easier for me, but I will try and try again. Practice makes perfection and all that.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for being so kind and merciful to this sinner. I know that you want me to strive for perfection. I know that I am supposed to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. You are the Potter and I am the clay. Please continue to mold me as You see fit. Please help me to recall that Your words in Jeremiah 29:11 about having a future full of hope for me also applies to those who would persecute me. Please help me to be mindful of Your voice that I may live out Your will for me, and not my own.



Leonie said...

I understand - every time I think of those who have been, well, mean - I try to remember to say a prayer for them....

Red Cardigan said...

The greatest way to vanquish an enemy is to turn him into a friend.

That's never easy, and sometimes it's impossible when people have truly been hurtful, or when they continue to be. But when we pray for them, we are allowing the possibility that God will use our prayers to turn our enemy into someone we can get along with, and that's definitely something worth praying for!

Bloggeezer said...

Christine, in my opinion, this is THE most difficult teaching.

I darn sure haven't learned it yet, and it's a little late in the game.

Sokay tho... I know God loves me, warts and all...