You Can Love Thine Enemy
Welcome to Christian Charity World as we look at "Love Thy Neighbour".
"Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,"
The ability to "love" comes easy in some circumstances and somewhat more difficult in others. As Christians we are called upon to love and to love God, love Jesus and to love our family and friends comes quite easily and naturally. But we are called to love our enemies and those who have wronged us as well. How easy is it to show our love then?
When somebody has served injustice upon us, hurt our feelings, stolen from us or perhaps even physically harmed us, our human reactions are to feel angry; we want that person or persons to suffer like we have suffered. We seek justice or revenge. How can we possibly feel love in these circumstances?
A few days ago I was feeling a little like that with one of my bosses at work. I had been denied a couple of hours off to attend to a personal matter. If I wanted time off I should take it as holiday. I felt aggrieved because I knew I'd been putting in extra hours to get work completed and to catch up with paperwork, extra hours that I wasn't getting paid for and was taking me away from my family. How could this person be so unreasonable? What happened to the principle of "give and take"? And what's more I'd been honest about my intentions rather than "pulling a sickie".
My automatic reaction was to feel bitterness towards my boss and yet deep down I knew I shouldn't. Pangs of guilt welled up from within because as a Christian I knew I should exhibit love. So how could I smother my resentment and get myself back on the right track?
As on most occasions the answer was to turn to God and pray.
My prayer started by letting God know my frustrations although He would have known that already. I explained my feelings of injustice and then confessed my guilt because I didn't feel the love inside of me that He would want me to share. My words were flowing as I disclosed that I appreciated that my boss was probably under alot of work related pressures and that this person probably had other issues to contend with as well.
Hang on, I was beginning to feel sorry for my boss. I was feeling compassion flowing inside of me. The anger had evaporated with the warmth that was now filling my heart. Within just a few minutes of prayer my whole attitude was changing and I felt at peace once more.
Perhaps the issues I had were minor compared to some. Many people are bound by the strongholds of deep animosity and feelings of forgiveness are far from their hearts. Love may take a little longer to shine through in circumstance like these but most assuredly love will win the day in the end if we offer over our hearts to God and ask Him for His help.
How fantastic is that?
Love Thy Neighbour
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