The theme of the Christian life is based on forgiveness. Once you are at peace with all around you, it’s time to enjoy life and have some fun. Today is the day to dress up like a cow and go to Chick-fil-A for a free sandwich. It’s amazing how much more fun life can be once the air is cleared.
To harbor a grudge against someone is to allow them to live rent-free in your mind. When people hurt us or make us angry, we often hold on to those feelings for a long time. Have you ever asked yourself why you can’t let something go when you need to? I wonder if God is trying to help us get tougher and maybe wiser at the same time.
To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. – Luke 6:27-36
It takes a degree of maturity to obey and pray for those who hate you. Once you begin to pray for someone, you can never hate them again. Hate turns to pity and you are then able to love that person with genuine compassion that comes from God. Eventually you might even be able to invite them to go to Chick-fil-A with you for COW APPRECIATION DAY.
It’s a challenge, but we have to forgive because we have been forgiven by our Lord. ❤