You want to know how to get back at your enemies? Love them. pray for them.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44
Believe it or not this still is a matter of unforgiveness.
What makes someone an enemy? What does “persecute” mean?
other words similar to persecute are: oppress, abuse, victimize, mistreat, bully, bother, intimidate
People aren’t usually enemies from the start, something usually happens to create animosity or hostility between them. This can be in the case of being wronged personally by them or watching them wrong others.
Does your enemy know that they are your enemy?
When we label someone as a enemy, we are holding something against them, and sometimes they don’t even know anything about it! The same goes with unforgiveness, not forgiving the other person does nothing to harm them, but only harms you.
As we dig deeper in our motives (why are they are enemy/ how did they wrong us) we can also dig into their motives as well.
Sometimes the mistreatment we feel isn’t directed to us at all, it is a by-product of what is going on in their life. But we will never know what they are facing unless we take a step back from thinking it is directed at us.
The first step in doing this is loving our enemy. When we love someone we show care, concern and empathy for them.
Every person has a story behind why they are the way they are, take some time to listen.
Listening is the key to understanding and you’d be surprised how you may have entered a conversation (or even a prayer) with your guard up, but by the end your heart is softened.
Have you ever tried to stay angry at someone AND pray for them at the same time?
Prayer starts to soften our heart to where we can have empathy and understanding for the person who has wronged us.
Sometimes though, the person we have labeled as our enemy really just serves to reveal what lurks in our own hearts.
Consider high school girls. There are so many social crowds in high school, and two of the groups are the “mean popular girls” and the “nerdy girls”. For the less popular nerdy girl to label the more popular girl as “mean” or “stuck-up” without having talked to her or having no reason to do so, may serve to uncover an issue of jealousy within her heart.
Prayer doesn’t always change circumstances, but it always changes us.
By loving and praying for our
enemies those that we perceived wronged us, we start to soften our heart to be able to see what God wants us to see, either in them or in us.
Looking at others as God sees them removes the enemy label and allows them to just be another broken person who needs Jesus. You know I can’t get through a post about our enemies without pointing our WHO the REAL ENEMY is:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Praying for someone who has wronged us is not easy, however we know that in Christ, love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5) and we are called to love our neighbors and our enemies, which means ultimately forgiving them of the offense that we have accused them.
Sometimes it is a matter of words, if “I forgive you” is hard to say, try ” You no longer own me anything”. if you hold on to the offense they committed as they owe you, in essence you are saying Jesus dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins isn’t enough.
So pray for your enemy, the person that has wronged you or wronged someone close to you. Pray for God to soften their heart and meet them right where they are to show them that there is another way. It is easy to love an easy person, but harder to love a hard person.
Choose the hard right over the easy wrong. EVERY TIME!