But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, …” Matthew 5:44
Whew! That’s always a tuff one. In the heat of the anger, it’s very difficult to think about loving your enemy – or the one who just hurt you or your loved one. And it wasn’t until I moved out of the anger stage that I was able to see clearly enough to even consider loving the enemy. Loving my enemies is about forgiveness and it’s about me growing into a new, stronger, and more compassionate person.
I am grateful that I have not been a victim of heinous crime and so I preface this post. Because I don’t know if I would be so forgiving if I had. I would pray that I would but, in reality, I don’t know what I would do in that situation. With that said, this post is about the everyday enemies we all encounter every day of our life.
You know the person who cheats one you out of that promotion, the co-worker who starts rumors, or the friend who cancels the lunch date because they were invited to a party. In this time of the pandemic, the racial unrest, the political climate, hurricanes, fires, and all the “locusts” of 2020 we have seen our “enemies” in everyday disagreements, depression, boredom, etc. I am talking about the simple problems we encounter every day.
When these things happen, we always have a choice to become bitter or to forgive.
Before I can forgive, I have to figure out the growth opportunity in the situation. Having evaluated both sides of the situation fairly, is there a lesson in this I need to learn? And, if so what is it and how can I put it into practice prior to the next time?
There are lessons to learn each day, I am here on Earth and those I consider enemies are the best way to learn and grow. There is an element of truth to each of the situations and my responsibility is to find that element of truth – forgive – and move on living life better.
Better, meaning bringing love and acceptance into the world versus staying bitter and bringing hatred into the world.
It is always our choice – love or hatred? Which do you choose today?
And, what have you learned about yourself from your enemies?