…bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28
It’s hard to pray for our enemies, isn’t it? Everything in us feels twisted and brittle when we begin the process. It’s unnatural, we think, to ask God to bless those who persecute us. When we are mistreated, abused, abandoned or tossed aside, those kinds of treatments stay with us, cling to our souls, are not easily forgotten. It is said that it takes 11 positive reinforcements to erase 1 negative comment or act. I believe it! So why does God require us to bless those who curse us and pray for those who bring so much pain? Personally, I think he does it for our benefit.
Think about it: Someone who is chronically critical and cranky doesn’t give much thought to how their behavior is affecting YOU. All they can think about is them. So when we go around carrying a load of resentment toward them, who is it hurting? They’ve forgotten about us long ago; moved on to the next victim in life. But there we are, day after day, carrying that load, hefting that burden, making sure we don’t give up that resentment no matter what? You’d think there is going to be a prize at the end of our life for the one who holds onto this stuff the longest, the way we carry it–the way we refuse to let go. God doesn’t want that for us, and we shouldn’t want it for ourselves. Today, let’s take God’s advise and do what Jesus did when speaking love from his cross. He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”