Luke 6:27-28 – “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”
For some reason, I’ve caught myself holding onto the hurt that I feel from others who have treated me badly. I’m quick to say they are forgiven. But that alone is often not enough. Because I still catch myself holding in my heart the pain that was created.
I believe I understand why Christ has instructed us not only to forgive but also to pray for those who have hurt us. Christ tells us not only to forgive them, but to love them. To do good things towards them. To pray for them that they will be blessed.
What Jesus instructs is far more than simply a prayer that we forgive them. It is an active engagement of actions, conscience, thoughts, and attention towards that person that is more than a fleeting moment of telling God that I’ve forgiven them for the evil done to me.
It’s almost as though you’re putting them at the top of your prayer list. You are actively engaged with God on their behalf. Ugh!! This sounds to be much more than what I anticipated I’d have to do.
Today, I challenge you to make a list of those you think you’ve forgiven. Start by praying for them. Pray that God will address their needs. Pray for blessings that will address those needs in ways that lead you to interact with that person to show them how much God loves them through you.
I know this isn’t going to be easy. But I’m convinced that it will break away chains that would otherwise hinder our Christian walk.
Have a blessed day!