We all have enemies. We all have people who have wronged us, and it is so easy to be bitter against them. But I never could understand until now why God admonishes us to pray for our enemies.
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). That is a tough assignment. That stretches the abilities of our humanity. It is too difficult for our earthly passions to do. We in all our human frailties are being asked by the Master to do the impossible: Love, bless, and pray for those who hurt us.
Why would He put that on us? It’s in the very next verse: That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. His spiritual offspring, His sons and daughters, His princes and princesses–they will overcome and do just that. Because each seed bears its own kind, we, born of His seed, will become just like Him. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. He loves the whole world and knows that they “know not what they do.” We, too, will realize that our calling is to be just like Him, and with His Spirit abiding within, we will overcome.
Vengeance will be taken, but not by His sons and daughters. We were created by Him as vessels of mercy. He will show His mercy through us. That’s why He emphasized, “Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD (Yahweh); I will repay.”
Why did He want us to not rail on our enemies? Because He knew that the moment we do, we will have given into a dark spirit, which entering into our heart and mind, will poison us spiritually. Bitterness as gall will well up and sully our complete being. He does not want this for us because we are not built by Him for revenge, hatred, and cursings. We are not “wired” that way by the Creator. We self-destruct if we hate others. We are created to be channels of love, His love.
So, we are told to “pray for them that persecute you.” By doing this, the dark, spiritual acid of bitterness is neutralized, and then His love and peace begins to once again flow down and through us to others. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
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