“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” – Matthew 5:44 (NLT)
“… and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” – The Lord’s Prayer
To be perfectly honest here, my ex-wife drives me crazy. We don’t get along at all. Its a shame since we have a son together. I’d go ahead and say she’s spiteful and cold-hearted and mean. I’m convinced she says and does thinks to make me upset. She probably wakes up every morning and thinks of ways to make me insane.
The purpose of this post isn’t to let everyone know how I feel about my ex-wife.
I think most of us have or have had someone in our lives that we just can’t stand. Or someone that for whatever reason can’t stand us. We have people that get us mad. Maybe you wouldn’t call these people your ‘enemy’ but you probably wouldn’t call them your friend either.
Matthew 5:39 says when someone strikes you on one cheek to turn the other to him also. I understand being the bigger person and not countering an insult with an insult. Not stooping to their level and that sort of thing. It isn’t always easy but I can usually ignore someone who is throwing around insults or trying to get under my skin.
But praying for them is A LOT tougher.
When it comes to my ex-wife, I pray that she is a good mother to our son. I can pray for her because, by proxy, I feel like I am praying for my son.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve mumbled to myself “If you weren’t Andrew’s mom… mumblemumblemumble…”.
I found myself the other nite trying to pray for her. Just no strings attached, dear God please let her be happy and successful and everything fantastic. And to continue being perfectly honest, it was HARD. Harder than I ever thought praying should be.
In the Lord’s Prayer, probably the most well known prayer in all of Christianity, we ask God to forgive us in the same manner we forgive others. I’m guilty of just rushing the prayer sometimes – I’m sure lots of people are. But when you actually go line by line through it, this is the one that really sticks out to me. We are asking God to forgive us in the same manner we forgive people that do wrong by us.
I’m asking to be forgiven like I forgive my ex-wife for doing whatever she’s done to me. Or like I forgive that guy that cut me off and gave me the finger. Or like I forgive a guy that broke into my car.
That statement really carries a lot of weight for me. Its not always easy to forgive but when I think about what God has forgiven me for, it gets a little easier.