But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Second to last prayer in our What Is Love series, and I wanted to take to the Bible to see what it says about loving those that hurt you.
It is one of the hardest things we can do, especially if the wound is still pretty new. How do you forgive someone who hurt you, tarnished your reputation, stole your trust or purity? Well, we must look to the Bible for guidance in that.
The greatest example, of course, is Jesus himself. You see, Jesus was on the cross, and He said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” it’s the perfect illustration of how we can respond to others who hurt us. Forgiveness to me is a direct correlation to love. When you forgive someone, you choose to extend grace as God does with us daily, and as we talked about that last week, grace is His way of loving us.
Have you ever repeated the Lord’s prayer? There is that one line I could never forget “forgive my trespasses as we forgive those.” It’s so easy to repeat those words and underestimate the weight they carry. We ask God to forgive us as we forgive others, and if we can’t forgive others, how can we expect God to forgive us?
Forgiveness and love don’t mean you have to call the person who hurt you today, and you have to confess that you are okay with what happened, and you forgive them. It really means talking to God and allowing the poison that you are holding onto to be removed from your life.
This verse gives us clear direction in handling enemies and those that persecute or hurt us, and the answer is to pray for them. So if you don’t know how to forgive someone, start with prayer. Start with asking God for the perspective you need for the situation in front of you. Never forget that you may very well be hurting the other person involved as well.
Jesus, we know we aren’t perfect, we know you want us to love those around us, but God, sometimes it’s so hard to do so. It’s hard to love those that hurt us. I ask that you remind us to live as you did. Remind us to chose to love them even when they hurt us, just like you chose on the cross. We ask that you continue to bless the people in our lives, and we ask that you make the opportunity available for us to forgive anyone we may be holding onto. Maybe it’s as easy as having an extended conversation with you. We ask this all in your heavenly name, AMEN!
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