Matthew 5:44 and Our Enemies

 Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

There is a person  in my life who makes it obvious that she is jealous of me.  Just recently, this revelation has come to me that no matter what I do or say she isn’t going to like me the way I want her to.  In fact, the more I try to please her the more it seems that she makes cutting remarks and holds me in contempt.

My prayer has been, “Please Lord, change her heart… soften it so she will care for me as much as I want to care for her.”  My prayers have not been answered.  I continued to pray  for her to change.  Then my prayers slowly evolved into something new… I started to ask God to grant her peace, confidence and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ so she might be so secure in His love and nothing would threaten this security.  Continued silence from God.

As each day passes I feel the resentment inside me grow with her every sarcastic and demeaning remark.  Why should I continue to pray for her when she treats me with so much insult and disrespect?   Sometimes my thoughts fill with anger as I ruminate over her mistreatment and it is difficult to focus on Jesus.  Sometimes, I actually enjoy the justification and condemnation I feel.  I vow to continue praying for her even though it is becoming increasingly more difficult and I am becoming resistant to doing so.

Then… something strange happened yesterday;  during my prayer time I suddenly thought  differently about the situation; I prayed that God would help me search my heart to see where I may have offended her.  Incidences slowly came swirling into my mind where I may have come across as bragging when I relayed a story or an event during my day,  there were also times where my joking might have been taken out of context or misconstrued or, suggestions I have made could have been interpreted as my knowing better than she.  Suddenly, my heart changed.  I can now look upon her as a hurting fellow human being, broken and sometimes insecure in the flesh, whose caustic darts indicate her need for love and respect instead of retaliation.  A wave of compassion overcomes me as I vow to apologize to her for my insensitivy.  I pray to the Holy Spirit to guide me to speak with compassion and love, I know He will open her ears.

Dear Lord, Through your love You slowly guided me back to myself when I prayed for my enemy to change.  You did it with so much gentleness and kindness I don’t have a feeling of profound shame and guilt over my behavior.  You have shown me the mercy You want me to show others… You opened my eyes and a I suddenly see how I have acted without thinking of others’ feeling. Please help me to continue growing in Your grace so I can do Your will on this earth and wherever I go may I be a reflection of Your love.  Amen

                                                                              

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~ by Andrea T on February 8, 2012.

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