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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Do You Love Your Enemies?!

Just the other day, I saw someone who tried her hardest to mess up my life several years ago. I thought I was over it, had forgiven her because, after all, I prayed for my heart to let go of the hate I felt for her. Yes, I said "HATE". I had an extreme hate for her. It's a long story, but she almost destroyed my future marriage and my life all because she was just a bored individual who had nothing better to do.
I was doing my evening Bible reading yesterday and the Word convicted me. I hadn't forgiven her so much as just quit thinking about it. I read two verses that brought her instantly to my mind.


"Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer"
Romans 12:12 


"If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head."
Romans 12:18-20

I'm reading the book 5 Minutes in the Bible for Women by Emilie Barnes. The goal of this book is to help the reader develop the habit of reading their Bible first thing in the morning. In section 2, titled 'Get More From Your Bible Reading', Mrs. Barnes lists 8 questions to ask ourselves that will help us understand whatever book we of the Bible we are reading. The one that grabbed my attention was #5, 'What command is there to obey? The Bible doesn't give "maybes" or "suggestions". The writers are usually direct in delivering God's message.' (page 11).
The Bible DOES say in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17,
 "All Scripture is god-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Learning to let go of the hate we hold in our hearts is definitely a 'good work', and the verses I read did rebuke me. Forgetting is not forgiving. I need to pray persistently for God to help me let go of this hate because it is poison to our souls. It will harden our hearts by degrees until we don't know how to let go of the hate. 

We have been offered grace and, as a child of God, I am commanded to also extend that grace to others. Not just those I like, but especially to those who have tried to hurt me. 

Yes, this woman tried to harm me. Yes, she tried her level best to keep God's plan from coming to fruition. Guess what? God's plan for my life was written long before this woman ever existed. My life was planned with care by a loving Father Who knew what I would need at this specific time. He also knew that she would be lonely and bored and jealous of my life and try to cause trouble for me. He took care of it long before either of us knew it would happen. When I think of it in those terms, it's so much easier to forgive her. She wanted what God intended for me but she didn't get it. God has a plan for her life if she is His child. I sincerely hope that she is because if she isn't, God's vengeance is much greater than mine could ever be.
Do you have hate in your heart right now for someone who tried to cause you or someone you love harm? Pray about it, give it to your Father Who loves you and wants your heart to be free. If it takes praying every day for the next however long, continue in prayer.

I hope that this post helps someone who needs to forgive someone else. God forgave us, so we must forgive others. Show the person you can't seem to forgive, God. Give them grace and pray for them. You aren't doing it for the person, but for God. We are human and hate is a human emotion, a fleshly emotion. Isn't that what our lives as God's children are about? Learning to let go of the fleshly desires?
Let me know what you are fighting with right now in the comments below.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. This is beautiful. I understand that forgiveness. I did the Total Forgivrness by R.T. Kendall many years ago. I purchased the audio on disc that I listen to several times a year. You have inspired me to listen again. Forgivrness is a daily routine.
    Thank you.
    Love ya
    christy

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    1. I have some R.T. Kendall books as well. I need to read them! Thank you for the suggestion. You seem like the happiest person I know!

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  2. This is beautiful Beth! Yes, we must be willing to forgive those who have hurt us, just like Jesus forgave us. I carried hate in my heart towards a man who abused me physically and emotionally. It took me some time to realize that I had to truly forgive him in order to become closer to Jesus. Out pastor was preaching on forgiveness and it hit me right between the eyes! I flew to the altar for the first time in my life. The pastor prayed with me and for me, and I could feel the peace overtaking my heart! Thank you for sharing this post and reminding me of the importance of forgiveness! Love you, my beautiful friend! ❤

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    1. My ex-husband was the same way. I have a short list of people who have hurt me that I need to work on forgiving every day. I think forgiveness is one of the most important things we can do to show God to others. Love you!

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  3. I too held hate in my heart. Hate for the biological mother of the two grandkids we are raising. She took me to court over and over and broke those kids hearts repeatedly.I don't like her but I no longer hate her. She is a wicked woman and literally gave me the kids after saying she never wanted to see them again. Years later she came back trying to get custody.this was over and over for several years. I haven't forgiven her yet. I didn't realize it until I read this post. I need a closer walk with God to change my heart towards her

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    1. Oh Jeanne! I am so sorry for you and for those sweet kids! Pray, pray, pray and if doesn't feel like it's working, pray some more. Like I said in the post, it isn't for her that you forgive, but for God and for yourself. Pray that she will come to know the Lord, because if she doesn't, His punishment will be worse than anything you could throw at her and that's a scary thought!

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  4. Your words have definately hit home for a lot of people, no doubt. I have some forgiving that I need to do that I thought I had done, but reading these words have brought it all back. I need to pray for the help and the courage to forgive these people because it's not hurting them...I'm the one suffering over here. Thank you so much for your honesty here and for sharing with us. You are much appreciated. Love ya sis

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    1. I'm really glad it did. The entire time I was writing it, I kept thinking that no one would understand what I was trying to say! It must not have been as confusing as I first thought!

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