Love my enemies? Pray for those persecuting me? What kind of craziness is that? There’s no way!
As a believer in Jesus as Savior and Lord, we can and we must do this. If He said to do it, we’re capable and we’re ordered.
Nope. It’s not easy.
Nope. It’s not fun.
UGH!!! I don’t WANT to love my enemies or pray for them!
I get that. I do. When there is someone who has lied about you, someone who has betrayed you, someone who has bullied you, someone who has hurt you to your core, you don’t want to love that person and you certainly don’t want to pray for that person!
Consider this, though, the human who hurt you did so from a place of hurt and as one deceived. That doesn’t excuse what they did, but it can help us know that they need our love and prayers as much as our loved ones.
You’ve probably heard it said, HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. When our hearts are broken, we say things that are spiteful and angry. We can be downright ugly. If there is unresolved trauma in our lives, we act out of our pain and hurt others. As believers, we who have experienced hurt can look at the one who delivered our pain through the lens of Christ’s love to see the hurting soul on the other side of our pain.
When we see the Truth, we can see the hurting and deceived wrapped up in skin being used by the ancient foe who seeks only to steal, kill, and destroy. When we see, we can love and pray.
This was Jesus’ aim, that we look at those around us and do as He did. He prayed for the Romans AND the Pharisees who crucified Him.
Here’s an added benefit: when we love and pray for these enemies and persecutors, our hearts are aligned with God’s and we experience peace of heart and mind because we’re no longer seeking their harm and judgment.
Are you holding a grudge today? It’s time to make some changes. Revisit that incident that has you in turmoil. Recognize your real enemy and forgive the human who was used—even if they don’t ask for it. Then choose to love them and pray for them. Your obedience to God and your peace of mind are worth it.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!