By Andrea Merrell
But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you,
do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you,
and persecute you.
Matthew 5:44 KJV
Learning the importance of forgiving others and putting it into practice is one thing, but the ability to bless those who have hurt and offended you is a whole different ballgame.
I can think of a couple of situations in my life when I was devastated by the words and actions of people who were supposed to be my friends, as well as my fellow Christian brothers and sisters. The wounds went deep and I felt betrayed.
But I knew I must forgive.
It didn’t happen immediately. It was more of a process … an act of faith. I offered prayers of forgiveness until they moved from my head to my heart. When anxious, angry feelings stopped popping up whenever these people came to mind, I thought the battle was over. But … no. Now it was time to love, pray for, and bless those who had done me wrong (Matthew 5:44-45).
It’s hard enough to forgive someone who has despitefully used you, let alone bless them. This goes completely against the flesh, our carnal nature. The truth is, this is another huge step of obedience that will bring God’s blessings into our life.
I’ve found that when I come to the place where I can honestly and genuinely pray for my “enemies” and ask God to bless them, it brings healing and peace to my soul. It’s like a medicine, a soothing balm that heals even the deepest emotional wounds. Walking in true forgiveness will close the door to the past and open up doors to a bright, new future.
Stephen forgave, even as he was being stoned to death. Jesus forgave as He hung on a cross for you and me. If someone has hurt or offended you, forgive. Then ask God to bless them. You'll be glad you did.
(Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com and Prawny.)
Forgiving and blessing our enemies is an act of faith and obedience. via @Andrea Merrell (Click to Tweet.)
To read in browser, click here.