As a mother, it’s in my nature to be a fixer. When something in my family needs repair, I immediately want to solve the problem.
If someone is upset about something, I want to find out why and try to mend their wounds.
The same is true for friendships, coworkers, extended family, even people who are merely acquaintances. And it’s especially if the person they are upset about is me.
If for a moment I think someone is upset with me, I let that dwell in my mind. Ruin my thoughts.
Either with anger — what did I do wrong? How dare he! He’s the one that did this or that.
Or with great guilt — I don’t want her to think that about me, I’m not those things she says I am.
Those thoughts pull me further and further away from Jesus. Why? Because they become my focus, instead of trusting God to right those wrongs for me.
The pastor of my church always reminds us to let others think what they want, you won’t change their mind about you because they don’t care. And guess what? What they don’t know about you is actually way worse.
That’s right. We’re all broken. Every single one of us. We’re all sinners.
So if ‘Sally’ thinks I’m unapproachable and a horrible mother, what she doesn’t know about me and the things I’ve done is much more damning.
Thank goodness I have a forgiving savior.
And it’s because of that forgiveness and grace that we are called to love our enemies. As hard as that may be to do sometimes.
In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus teaches what we must do to be one his followers. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 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 them do to you.”
Are there people in your life right now you would call your enemy? Do you pray for them?
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
For whatever my enemy may say or try to do to me, I know that I, too, am covered in filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It is only through the gospel and Jesus’ death that I am made clean.
Dear Lord, please bless my enemies. I pray for those who have wronged me. I pray for those that have abused me. I pray that they might come to know you, Jesus. That they would grow to love you and do your will. I ask that you forgive them of their sins, just as you have forgiven me, and guard their hearts against evil. Amen.
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