Ok, I have been away for some time AND I am veering away from my usual topic of weight loss...I'll be back with that, but I wanted to discuss something else..something that can hinder weight loss...something that can hinder FANTABULOUS LIVING!!!
Today, I struggle. I struggle with the TRUE meaning of FORGIVENESS...as written by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He said:
You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy."
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44).
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse (Romans 12:14).
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).
REALLY God? I'm with the level of forgiveness, where I don't repay evil for evil...I'm even OK with lettin' some stuff go and moving on....but, you want me to PRAY for my enemy? Ask YOU to BLESS them? Is this a test? YES IT IS! Well, so far....I'm failing!!!
It's so easy to forgive at that first level...you know, someone did you wrong and you just move on. Or somebody wrongfully accused you of something and it caused pain...and you just move on. But, God says for us to PRAY EARNESTLY THAT HE BLESS YOUR ENEMIES! What? I don't know about that one...I'm working on it, though. I mean, I don't wish ill against ANYONE...but, do I really want God to Bless them...do I really want them to be in good health, prosperous and have the abundance of God's Blessings? Yeah...ok.
It is so easy to pray for our family and loved ones...you know, your Mom, Dad, child, sister, brother, BFF's, extended family! In this world of technology, it's even easy to pray for all of my FB friends and trust I don't know half of them! LOL! But, I pray for them...because they are my "family". I can even say it's easy to pray God's blessing on an UNKNOWN enemy...Iraq, serial killers whose actions haven't affected us directly, 9/11 perpetrators, etc...we don't know them personally, but they are enemies of our country and fellow man. So, we pray for them to be delivered from evil and that God protect even them. All of that is fairly easy to do and we do it without pause.
But, what about the KNOWN enemy?
What about....that woman who slept with, fell in love with and eventually caused the divorce between you and YOUR HUSBAND?
What about the abusive husband? Who had you in the hospital so many times? Or your child?
What about the ex who not only won't pay child support, but doesn't even ACKNOWLEDGE his/her child?
What about the ex who keeps breaking promises to you and your child...causing continual pain?
What about the parent that left...never to return? Or did return with a new family?
What about that man/woman who molested you as a child? Or molested YOUR CHILD?
What about the person who started the fire that killed your family member?
What about that person that spread malicious gossip about you?
What about that "friend" who got you in trouble with the law and YOU went to jail and they did not?
What about the business/company that fired you UNJUSTLY or truly discriminated against you?
What about that person who lied on you so bad that you lost your job, your home, your car...Your life?
Can you pray for the person that caused your life to be altered in such a way it will NEVER be the same?
Can you be in the same room with any of these people and LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY? Weep with them, pray for them, laugh with them? That's TRUE FORGIVENESS.....
Like I said...I struggle with this....I am seeking God's help in breaking through this barrier or this struggle...I am trying to follow Stephen's example in Acts 7:60 AFTER THEY STONED HIM FOR NOTHING MORE THAN SPREADING THE GOSPEL - Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Translation - HE DIED!!)
Yes, we want the Blessings of the Lord to rain down on us...but the reality is they rain down on the JUST (us) and the UNJUST (our enemies)...and God wants us to WANT this for them just as much as we want this for ourselves.
I'm praying my struggle will be over soon....The abundance of GRACE and MERCY that the Lord has shown me....I want to show it to EVERYONE...because I want so badly to be just like HIM!
Whew....now THAT'S PLATINUM LIVING!!!
That's living a FANTABULOUS LIFE - ON PURPOSE!