27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Why is it that those closest to us can hurl the most painful words. It seems like with the least amount of effort too. The statements that can feel like sharp jabs in the stomach. You know the ones that take your breathe away. That you have to retreat to the bathroom or hold your breathe to keep the tears from leaking out. You would actually have the RIGHT to say the most hurtful things right back to them. Heck, I know that it is much easier to get on the defensive and scan your memory for any ammunition to fire right back at them.
They say hurt people hurt people, but this is where we come in and change the saying. We get to change the way we react and represent Jesus. I know this is not the most popular topic and it is down right hard to do most of the time. Humor me and think about it for a second. If when we are hurt and wronged we respond with prayer. We get hurt and blindsided by those we love and bless them anyways. Giving to even those that take the most from us.
DOING GOOD TO THOSE THAT HATE YOU. This is no easy practice, but I do not that when actually put into practice it really does benefit you.
There was a chapter in my life, after I had experienced abuse and felt broken past the point of repair. It was at this point I KNEW this scripture and I KNEW that I needed to pray for this person. No matter how much I really did try the words could not come out. What did come out much easier was hate, avoidance, and bitterness. Even when I could muster up a few generic lines of prayer I knew and most importantly God knew I was not coming to Him in truth. I had even thought okay maybe if I pick the phone up and call, you know speak it out loud to this person then this weight would be removed. That did not work.
It was not until I went to God in desperation I realized what it was. In prayer God revealed something to me and it felt like the second cheek was getting slapped. It was like He was saying to me, “Heather your holding on for an apology. That is not what forgiveness is about, you might never get it are you going to be okay with that? Can you let this go and forgive knowing that you will never get a sorry? You have to turn the other cheek.” It was not until I could see that would I experience the freedom of forgiveness. The true peace of loving those that have wronged you. It does not mean that you have to call them every day and be best friends or even friends at all. It means you hold not bitterness and hate towards those that have caused you pain. I know this is a habit that takes time. It is okay to take time in this but as long as you keep taking stepped toward forgiveness, REAL forgiveness. I can promise you from much experience that there is so much freedom in it.
I love you and please comment or reach our for any prayer or topics you want to hear!