Okay sister warriors, I’m going to be totally transparent with you guys. This article is really hard for me to write. Even though I have worked really hard the past few years to forgive those who have hurt me, spread kindness to those who are against me, and even shake the hands of my enemies, there are still certain people I would rather light a match in my soul and let it burn then to bless them. Ouch. Harsh. I know. I said I was going to be honest with this one. Why? Because God is challenging me to see this very important message through His perspective, not mine.
I want to share with you something that I read recently in the Message Bible. I don’t know if you are familiar with this version, but basically the Message Bible takes verses and translates them into super simple, direct, to the point translations of bible verses. Needless to say, when I read this verse, I felt a pit in my stomach . You’re asking me to do what?
Here’s what it says:
“ Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously”
I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things the Lord has asked me to do that are difficult, but for me, this one takes the cake. Naturally, I am stubborn, selfish, hot-headed…. this list could go on. So while wrestling with what the Lord has called me to do and my natural instincts, I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, looking for understanding and perspective of why what He is asking of me is not only important, but necessary for my overall growth and happiness.
I want to share with you the things that God has been placing on my heart lately:
Pray for those who have done you wrong.
Without you showing them the kindness that they don’t deserve, you’ll get stuck and it will limit how high you can go.
God is testing you and your character. You’re not blessing them for their sake, your blessing them for your own. They don’t need your blessing, God can and will give them that in any way He sees fit.
You are proving to Him that you’re not bitter, you’re not vindictive, you’re not holding a grudge, and instead you’re big enough to swallow your pride and bless them. That’s when God will know you are ready for more.
God will also not promote you to pay someone back. The sooner you learn to bless your enemies, to be good to those who have done you wrong, the better off you will be.
Now I don’t want to confuse the message here. I’m not saying to continue to keep negative friendships or toxic people in your life. Not at all. I am saying that most people who are against you are simply distractions. The negative comments, text messages, Facebook posts, gossip or energy is meant to throw you off track. Your job is not to straighten them out, it’s to stay the course and keep heading where we YOU are meant to go.
Love and Kindness,