I absolutely love being a sunday school teacher but I suspect that as the words of warning and guidance are coming out of my mouth I am a stones throw away from the temptation I’m preparing the kids for.
Whether I’m just more aware of the temptation or that God in his providence was warning me, its seems as though the words come off the page at me personally.
Sunday’s reading was from Luke chapter 6 verse 27-28. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”.
How can I love my enemies?! How am I supposed to bless those who curse me or pray for those who mistreat me or my family?!
My first reaction? It isn’t fair! Doing something that I don’t want to do makes me want to cry. Part of it is hurt. Part of it is anger. All of it is pride.
I am weak.
Correct your own sins, amend your own life.
I harbor un forgiveness and sometimes anger at those who have hurt me or my family and it sucks that I can’t just wish it away.
I read once “forgiveness isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself”. HA! If I was doing something for myself I’d call so and so up and tell them how I really feel.
Instead I read Luke and I bend my neck against its will. With everything in me I desire to be pleasing to God more than please myself.
But I say to you,” the Lord says, “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you.” Why did he command these things? So that he might free you from hatred, sadness, anger and grudges, and might grant you the greatest possession of all, perfect love, which is impossible to possess except by the one who loves all equally in imitation of God.
—St. Maximus the Confessor
I told my class this week, “think about someone who has hurt you, said something mean about you or to you. If you can not do good to them, at the very least pray for them”.
In reality to pray for our enemies is more than the “very least” we can do. It may not start out genuine or heartfelt but in the privacy of our prayers God examines our hearts and as we pray he begins to align our actions with our words.
I have seen this in my own life. I have seen God make peace where it was not earthly possible. I have seen my heart change from a heart of stone toward someone to something that still needs so much work, but is soft.
If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on ME a sinner.