Monday, July 25, 2016
CAN WE PRAY FOR SOMEONE WE HATE?
FROM MY HEART
According to Galatians, apparently we better.
When I was 17, God set me straight about one very important thing: Love and hate cannot live in the same heart.
I had been hating my Dad for all of my teen years. It was a very deep hatred which bound me tightly and made me determined that I would never forgive him for his mouth and his behaviors and his complete lack of being there for me when I needed him most. The very sight of him made me want to scream and run.
However, God gently told me that we (God and I) would never be able to work out my life together if I continued to hate him. “Love and hate cannot live in the same heart.” The hate had to go, no matter how much he deserved to be hated.
It was not easy to do, but is was easy to want to do and God helped me do it.
I prayed for him as hard as I prayed for my mother and my brother. I began to do kind things for him. He interpreted it wrong, of course. But I was not responsible for his interpretations. I was responsible for not hating him and for treating him kindly for Jesus sake.
1.“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Hatred)
13-15. It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know a bout God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? The Message
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; HATRED, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
20-23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Our course of action is set for us. We are forbidden to hate. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This commandment is found throughout the Bible and is as solid as a rock.
My Mercies are new every morning and My Love endures forever! Solid rock promises from God to us.
Lord, may we examine ourselves and find any hate that is in our hearts, and turn away from it back to you. In Jesus name, and for His sake, Amen.
P.S. I happen to be terrible about praying for people who's behavior and ideology appear evil to me. Only prayer can make any difference in our lives or theirs.