Love is hard! And, that’s no joke! Though as obvious as we all know that is, loving others can seem down right impossible at times! Heck, loving ourselves is an enigma to many! Love can be so difficult to do in this world that when it comes to God asking us to do what’s stated in the verse below, those of us who wish we could easily do so, often glaze over what’s being requested. In Matthew 5:44, The Lord states;
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”
It makes you want to say, with a smirk; “Lord, Really? Are you for real? You know what they did to me!” And, yes, I can assure you His answer’d be, “Yes, My child, Really.” I know this because I remember several years back when I began walking with The Lord, He began to do what I call a Renovation in me, and it’s something He does in every person who comes to Him. You see… God accepts us each as we are, but He’ll never leave you the way He found you! He has plans to uncover the best in you that you need to discover; the incredible masterpiece He created you to be with His masterful hands that’s been, with all the debris of crumbling experiences, undercover. After your having gone through so much in life, and you returning to Him, it’s like you’re a rare artifact that He wants to restore to the original splendor with which He at first formed you.
With that being said, He had begun to do a work in me, and I had this insatiable urge to forgive those who had wronged me: a friend I hadn’t spoken to in 9 years over something valid, but quite trivial once I had thought about it so many years later. And, the biggest one of all, was God’s prompting me to forgive my father, where we had an estranged relationship for nearly 20 years. Again, I feel my anger towards him was valid, but [and this point is a takeaway I’d like you to receive] once I began to communicate with my father again, only with the light The Lord had shone upon our situation, did I begin to understand why what I was angry with my father about happened. And, believe it or not, why some parts that happened, God allowed for my best interest. As I progressed through this journey of being restored, it was then that I learned that…
Forgiveness Allows Renovating What You Perceived as Ruined
You see, Beloved of God, those people who hurt you may have succeeded in disappointing you, but Truly, though you may think they have, they haven’t been able to stop you! Your Divine Destiny’s been delayed but not forgotten and certainly not denied. Past circumstances have had you thinking s/he or they ruined your life, but that, beloved, is where I tell you that some dark whispers in your spirit have lied. Because even if what you thought you were going to do, didn’t happen the way you had planned, God has a workaround that will still get you to fulfill His purpose for you, which can give your pain a point so it’s no longer a pain point. So, there’s no need to allow the anger, disappointments, and fears you have towards other people weigh you down. Because it’s only when you let those heavy things go, that you can lighten up enough to take flight, Eagle. You can begin by understanding that…
Forgiveness Doesn’t Require Reconciliation
Like with God, unpleasant things that people do to us, separate us from them. Yes, some remain in miserable relationships, despite what’s done. But, when unions are more harmful than harmonious, those who know their rights, choose to create boundaries, and stand strong by them, and as a result a separation often occurs. The separation or the lack of wanting to be around the ones who inflict the hurtful acts, whether physical, verbal, or spiritual, also doesn’t always denote a presence of “Unforgiveness”. For, at times, it’s simply a wise and rightful decision made for safety.
Take Joseph as an example, in Genesis chapter 44, where the very ones he should’ve been able to trust, many years before, had come back into his life. He had already forgiven them, which is why he was able to move on and ascend into all God had called him to be, because he wasn’t bitterly stuck in what had happened to him in the past. Which is a wonderful example to see because that means what happened to you doesn’t have to hold you to your past, either! If The Lord did it for Joseph, He’ll do the same for you where God turned what was meant for his harm around for the good. But, when you read the chapter, notice that Joseph tested those who betrayed him to see if they had truly repented, which simply means to change from old unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving. He did this before allowing them full access to his life again.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you draw up an elaborate plan to test any who’s truly disappointed you, to see if you want to reconcile. But, I’m encouraging you that it’s possible and beneficially permissible to forgive and “not” reconcile if you feel the need to do so, in the case that those who’ve hurt you haven’t changed. Doing this also Blesses you as…
Forgiveness Puts You Above & Not Beneath
As Scripture says in Deuteronomy 28, when we Honor the Will of God, “…the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God…” (Deut 28:13)
And, this is what happens when you put Matthew 5:44 into practice, as you Bless those that curse You, by doing good, & praying for them. You, Beloved of God, will rise above by not stooping to the level of the devil.
I understand this is not always easy, but consider starting with the example of how Jesus Blessed those who crucified Him by praying for them, and asking The Father to Bless them with Forgiveness. In Luke 23:34, “…Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…”. Yes, many times some know what they are doing is wrong, but often times, they don’t know how to do right. This stems from, as it states in 1 John 2:16; “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” That, in attempts to fulfill these desires, many of them right desires to have, in the wrong ways. Everyone needs protection, but no one truly needs to join a gang or a cult to achieve it, if they understand and believe that God provides their safety. Everyone needs love, but no one truly needs to fulfill it with lures of lust when they receive the Love of God, and begin to love themselves as He loves them. Everyone needs to feel significant, but no one truly needs to fulfill it by stepping on others to feel important once they learn who they are in God and what He purposed them to do; which means they are especially significant to Him, no matter how people categorize them.
Keeping these elements of truth in mind can give you some context for empathy for those who have hurt you. And, here’s a way you can Bless them, too, without feeling like you’re Blessing them with what they don’t deserve. Pray for The Lord to help them to be Blessed with what they need, in the right ways. For example, my being in ministry, God has opened my spiritual understanding to a level where I have been given access to some tragically horrid activities some people do. There are times, I’ve prayed for these individuals or groups of people to accept Deliverance from their bondage according to the Ways of Christ, so they do not have to meet their Demise through Divine Judgement. Beloved, if they do, that’s a Blessing for them! Additionally, Blessing them, Praying for them, and doing good to them when given a chance, will keep you focused on not allowing the devil get a foothold in your anger, which never produces what pleases The Lord.
Allowing The Lord to Renovate you, Liberate you, and Lift you above all the unpleasant experiences you’ve been through are life-changing benefits that are Blessings for you, each available through forgiving your enemies! For, God Blesses those who Bless others!
~~ Who, Beloved, have you allowed to hold the keys to your Destiny because you haven’t forgiven them for what they’ve done, or what seemingly they allowed to happen? Perhaps, for you, it’s God, or perhaps, it even yourself.
It is my Prayer for you that you ponder with peace in prayer to The Lord to help you forgive your enemies, so you can remove any barriers between you and God, as well as, between you and anyone new!
Love You to Life!
LuKeisha Carr Ministries International, Inc.