Day 5: Loving our Enemies

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:44

From Dear Dad…

I wanted to make the list. I wanted to write down those who had hurt me in my life. They didn’t love me. My sexual abusers, they didn’t love me. Then God tugged on my heart asking, “What if they don’t know how to love?” I guess that’s why he is God and I’m not. I couldn’t write their names down. Maybe they really didn’t know how to love.

So what do I do with that? I have already taken the first step—forgiveness. I guess now I get on my knees and pray for them. Yes, I may have bore the pain of their sufferings because of their lack of love, but instead of anger, I feel sorrow for their breaking hearts. If only they could see what Jesus could change in them. Maybe someday they will. I am reminded in Matthew 5:44 that I am to “pray for those who persecute me.” If I love those who love me what reward do I get? I’m starting to get it.

More…

When you decide to pray for those whom have hurt you, know this – God will test you on whether you really mean it or not. Well, He did me anyway.

He put me face to face with not one, but two of my sexual abusers over the last year. It was hard, scary, trying, and freeing all at the same time. Bitterness was gone. Resentment has long since flown the coop. Instead of hate, I found myself praying for them. Actually, I found myself rejoicing for one of the men. He has since come to know Christ and his life reflects the change.

Though the other isn’t walking with the Lord yet, I pray someday he will. I pray one day he will know the loving grace our Heavenly Father offers, if only we admit we need it, and ask for it.

You can’t hate those you pray for. If you’re struggling today with unforgiveness toward someone, I encourage you to pray for them, everyday. Your heart will change and I would be your relationship with God will grow too.

About the Author

Sundi Jo Graham

Sundi Jo is an author, speaker, and small business owner, making her home in Branson, Missouri. She blogs at sundijo.com on life, faith, and health. Sundi Jo believes you can't live life without laughter, and that Dolly Parton is the greatest singer ever. You'll find her engulfed in the social media world, spending time with friends and family, hanging out in flip fops, or dreaming of being a "Chopped" chef. Find her on Twitter (@sundijo).