Thursday, 18 February 2016

Love Your Enemies by Susan L.

  This last few days have been a struggling time. The lesson on Sunday's service was about forgiveness. I had a bit of a meltdown. God knows I've said the words. God knows I've asked Him to change my heart.
  Still, there were nightmares Monday night that left me ragged, anxious and full of fear. Still, there is the challenge of living with PTSD as a result of things that happened beyond my control.
  It speaks volumes of God's ability to heal all things that I do not hate those who wronged me.
  As I drove home from Bible study last night, the idea came to me that it isn't enough not to hate. We, as Christians, are commanded to love our enemies.
  "Well, Lord," I thought, "What does that love look like?" I squirmed a bit, dreading the answer.
  The love of God is an action word. We demonstrate that love through our actions. Love and trust are two separate entities. We can love someone but we don't have to trust them. 
  I have found it incredibly difficult to be in the same room as my ex, thankfully a rare occurrence. I don't believe this is a barometer of forgiveness. Prudence perhaps. Wisdom perhaps. Maybe it's even having healthy boundaries.
  What does it mean to act in love? A relational love such as a friendship with my ex is out of the question. At least at this point in my life. An offering of forgiveness doesn't mean being around him doesn't hurt. It means I've let go of all malice and ill will towards him...the hate. I'll say most of the time because it is a process.
  What God's love for me enables is the ability to love him from a distance. That love is voiced in prayers for his salvation. It's an acknowledgement that God's love for him far exceeds anything I could give or is even asked to give. It means asking the Lord to place people in my ex's life who can love him like Jesus; who have the ability to lead him into God's grace.
  Those prayers are the greatest gift of love I can give him.
  "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Mat 5:43-45

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