Dear Friends: In the news these days, there are a lot of opportunities to get stirred up about our enemies. ISIS and Ebola are two big ones we can name, but there are many more. It’s easy to rant, rave and judge about these events and also what should be done to fix the problems that our enemies cause. Whether it’s across the globe or in your own back yard from the person who hurt you or offended you, left you off of the party list, didn’t include your child on their team or even worse has abandoned you, God has instructions for us on how we are to deal with our enemies.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”…(Matthew 5:44)
Maybe your initial reaction is like mine…”WHAAAAAAT? What in the world, God? Love my ENEMY? I am not so sure about this. Why? My ego/pride does NOT want to do this. Our brains say: “What good would that do? That is way too hard!” And the list of arguments goes on and on. Why would the Lord ask us to do this? As we ask this, it is important to keep in mind that His instructions are set up for our benefit and His glory. In pondering that truth, these conclusions come to light. Once we forgive…
We gain freedom to move on. The pain of the offense does not have a hold on us and we are no longer affected by the mention of the name or presence of the one who hurt us. Love and forgiveness is a path to leaving the past in the past, and moving onto new opportunities and healthy relationships.
We gain time and energy. When our minds are not constantly occupied with the person or offense, we can use our time and energy to accomplish more and move us forward.
Forgiving our enemies draws us closer to God. The ONLY way we can forgive our enemy is to draw strength from Him. It illustrates our faith in God. That God will indeed take care of the offender in His time. He promises it will be handled and we do not need to give it another thought. At times our only motivation to forgive is our desire to be obedient and honor Him (which it doesJ).
We ‘show off’ Jesus. It is through the Lord’s empowerment that we forgive and love our enemies. When we are able to do this, it shows the power and presence of our God to others.
It validates the Cross. The Cross of Christ is all about forgiveness. His death was the payment for ALL sin. When we choose to enter into the forgiveness of our enemies, we are exhibiting to the world that what He did was ENOUGH.
These are just a few of the reasons He calls us to love and forgive our enemy. The lyrics from the song, “Let There be Peace on Earth” written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson says it all: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” It does begin with you and I. If we desire peace for our nation, our workplace or homes, we must start with what we individually can control. We can choose to follow God’s directive to love and forgive our enemies. The rest is up to Him. Who do you need to love and forgive today? Can you take a step toward it? Even if you are not ready to forgive, get honest with God about what you think about His directive. Take the first step out of the bondage of unforgiving. God promises you it will be life changing! Blessings and Love~ Angel