“You have heard the law that says, ‘love your neighbour’ and hate your enemy.
But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
In that way, you will be acting as true children of your father in heaven.
For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?
Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect”.
Matthew 5: 43-48 New Living Translation (NLT)
Demonstrating love towards your enemies appears an impossible thing to accomplish or even want to do, after you have been hurt by someone close, this could be a friend, family member, work/college colleague.
I know from my own experience that it can be hard to let go of the feelings of rage, anger, sadness and seeking to offer genuine love or forgiveness towards the person can really be difficult.
I have learned that feelings are false and do not last, and your perspective on events can change. This can either be through having good friends, or people who can offer fresh insight into the situation or event. Seeking your own justice ultimately affects you, I had to take the first step of praying to God over the situation to help me forgive those who had wronged me.
I have to be truthful it was not an easy prayer, it was kind of like I was holding onto my position and arguing with God that I was the wronged person by saying ” but they did this” … and they took that “,” I can’t let it go, Lord” !.
I know that speaking out in prayer was the first step to letting go and being healed. It was kind of like a release, a weight lifted but getting to that point was not easy. You initially share with friends the situation, but then you feel that shouldn’t have Am I being judged?.
Or do you just store it up inside, playing the event in your mind over and over again? I am really a private person, and as a male, I felt that I could handle anything. No! , wrong ! bottling things up is not healthy. Dealing with this alone was not an option either, I needed help.
Prayer was one element of this process to forgiving the person who wronged me. The biggest challenge was yet to come. Meeting them face to face after a long period of time. The hardest meeting which I have ever had to attend and contribute to.
Growing up in a home/family environment where church life was important I would read the above Bible passage many times but could not fully grasp the significance.
Reading the verse now with older eyes, not just chronologically, but in terms of my walk with our Heavenly Father I have a greater understanding and have had to apply the command Jesus has outlined in verse 43.
Our Heavenly father outlines commands in this verse that is for our good in growing us and moving us towards being more like Him.
Let us join together warmly in praying to our heavenly Father to pray for our enemies.
Scriptures to consult when praying for our enemies.
” You have heard that it was said ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’.
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5: 43-48 , New International Version (NIV).
” But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you pray for those who ill-treat you.
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn him the other also. If someone takes your cloak do not stop him from taking your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have done to you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who are good to you what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.
And if you lend to those from who you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners’, expecting to be repaid in full.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then the reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Apr 25, 2018, Kenneth a Yaskey