"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy" (Romans 15:1-9 NIV).
God why can’t they understand me! Why do they dislike me so much! In tears, I cried out to God! They are just typical non-believers who will only get it at the end, trying to console myself! God said, in a small still voice, "Pray for those who persecute you."
It was an embarrassing-awkward moment for me after I heard that because I just felt that I was right and I don’t want to pray for people who hate me! Why should I pray for them! They don’t deserve my prayers! That is not the kind of attitude a Christian should have! After hearing that I re-called on the cross when Jesus was crucified, He cried out "Father, forgive them for they not know what they are doing!" Jesus' request was so genuine! He prayed like that not to make himself better in the Fathers eyes, but because he really loved those people who crucified him!
I naturally don’t care much about others. If they give me an attitude, I give them double the attitude! If they make me angry, I don’t talk or look at them anymore! However, being a child of God forces me to abandon that kind of attitude, because it is not Jesus like! Jesus expects us to be like him, humble and full of his love! He knows that it is not easy, that is why he offers to help us daily as we seek his face! I said to him, Jesus, I want to be like you! I don’t know how you do it, but I also want to do it! I want to forgive like you forgive me! I want to love like you love me! I want to have the same kind of attitude that you had towards those who persecuted you!
When we pray for those who hurt us, God doesn’t want us to do it with pride and conceit, but with a genuine heart! Not to try and look good in God's eyes or to make ourselves feel better, but because we don’t want to break our relationship bonds with the people we love! We have to genuinely ask God to change their lives and hearts like he did ours! We have to believe that God has the best in sore for them just as much as He has for us!
As we grow in God, we tend to judge others and think we are more special than them! Yes we are different because of the power that works in us, but God loves each and every one the same! Let us not forget how at one point in our lives we also needed prayer, how we also judged others because we did not understand! No Christian who has struggled to get her life right with God will be able to point a finger at another person because they understand that it is not easy!
Mike Flynn in one of his books said, "He whom you criticize is lord of your life! He is the one who has your attention, dictates your actions, and determines your emotions!"
So when we pray for those who hurt us, we are also freeing ourselves. Jesus said that in this world we are going to have persecution, but I believe that He will help us endure! He has overcome the world!
Lord Jesus, thank you that your love is flowing in my heart, that I will love and forrgive those who persecute me! Live your life through me Lord and enable me to love my enemies just like you have loved me! Amen!