Love Your Enemies???

 

“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

(Matthew 5:44)

WHAT?

I am supposed to love my enemies?

I am supposed to pray for those who persecute me?

Yeah, right!!!!!!

Isn’t that what we think and feel when we read the Lord’s admonition?

Frankly, it is hard enough to love my friends!

Yet, those are His words, not mine.

Reading these words and knowing what they say is one thing.

Living them out: well, let’s just say that’s where it gets REALLY hard!

Many years ago now, someone falsely accused me of something.

There were ugly words spoken about me.

Although this person was told the truth, they had already made up their mind

and there was no changing it.

This was not one of my favorite people to start with,

so that did it for me.

Very strong disdain grew in me toward this person.

The mere mention of their name brought the anger and bitterness

I was holding on to right up to the surface.

Of course, I have always known it wasn’t healthy and it certainly didn’t honor God.

But, I am being terribly honest with you.

Well, long story short:

In house church, we have been studying conflict resolution.

Because I knew what I harbored in my heart, and I felt a strong nudge of God,

I reached out to this person.

I asked forgiveness of the resentment, bitterness and anger I felt toward them

and I forgave them for unjustly accusing me and all that followed as a result.

WOW!!!

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Now everything’s all neatly wrapped in a pretty little package, right?

WRONG!

Seems they have some serious anger issues.

Although I put myself out there, confessed and asked forgiveness,

I was called a liar.

(Of course, those exact words weren’t used, but they might as well have been!)

To say the least, the conversation ended poorly.

My first reaction?

ANGER

But then, as I asked God what had gone wrong,

I realized just how miserable this person must be.

Harboring that kind of hatred is hard work.

A sense of sadness enveloped me for them.

So, what do I do now?

If I am obedient to God’s Word, this is what I do:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

(Romans 12:21)

Not feeling it right now!!!!!

But I am going to ask God to fill me with His Spirit so I can get to that point.

In the conflict resolution study, it says this:

“Sometimes we strive for peace without “success.”  We do all the things that God

calls us to, but our opponent continues to treat us unkindly, angrily, unfairly, or harshly.

Scripture makes it clear that it truly takes two to make peace.

Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,

live at peace with everyone.”  It depends on the other person also, and sometimes they

may not be ready or willing to do the right thing. And they may never get there.

Success may just be faithfulness, obedience, and keeping on doing the right thing.

So, how do we proceed?

 Pray

Pray for your enemy’s heart; only God can change it.

Remember to recognize your own limits:

My job:  to honor God by doing the right thing

God’s job: to change people”     **

Putting myself out there with this person certainly didn’t have a happy ending.

But I was obedient to God’s call.

Sometimes, that is all one can do.

And the “bad” feelings I harbored have now been changed to that of pity.

So, I guess some “good” did come from it all.

God is always faithful when we are obedient.

It may not look the way we had envisioned,

but He’s faithful just the same!

Lots of love, Sharon

**Resolving Everyday Conflict: Biblical Answers for a Common Problem

Peacemaker Ministries, 2010


3 thoughts on “Love Your Enemies???

  1. WOW Sharon. What you did was not easy. To tell someone you forgive them for what they did is like pointing out their sin. The situation with my friend would be the same. ….I forgive you for the wrong and hurt you did to me….she’s not aware of what she did. This particular conflict resolution is hard to understand what to do.
    You were brave.

    1. It was hard but the way it was rejected was sad. But honestly I wasn’t surprised. It was quite typical of the person. That’s why it’s such an old wound. For this person it’s more important to be right. They are to be pitied

  2. Hey Sharon,

    I meant to reply to your post earlier in the week but I had Connor here for several days and I didn’t get much computer time. You have a clear understanding of that I am sure. I am excited on the days that he is here with us if I get a shower and twice as excited if I get makeup on. He doesn’t care about either….he loves me anyway and that is just fine with me.

    I hope you are doing well and have had a good summer. I read your post when you were at the beach and missing Les so badly. That really made me sad. But I have always thought that the beach could give you a lonely feeling even if you were not even feeling lonely. It is so beautiful there and truly still amazes me how God set everything in place.

    I know, in God’s time, He is going to send you someone, Sharon. You really deserve to have someone to share your life and your journey with Christ. I am praying He will send someone soon!!!

    Love always,

    Maudith

    Give me a call and let’s have lunch one day.

    _____

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s