"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," ~Jesus (Matthew 5:44 )
“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Here's a challenge for Lent: instead of giving something up, start something. Start praying for your enemies.
Who are your enemies? You figure you're such a good person that you don't have any enemies?
How about the person who cut you off in traffic or took the parking spot you were hoping for? How about the family member or in-law who makes snide remarks or jabs about something you did or said? How about the ex who you feel betrayed by? That co-worker or boss or customer or whoever at work that just knows how to zap the joy out of your day or trample on your last nerve?
What if, instead of wasting your energy on being ticked off at them, you said a quick prayer for them?
Sure, you COULD say a prayer ABOUT them; "God give me patience with this jerk" or "God, would you DESTROY this idiot?!!"
But what if you prayed FOR them? "Lord, I don't know why this person said that (or acted a certain way), but please help them to have peace- if only so that they won't be such a jerk." or how about "Lord, please help them to realize that the way they just said that makes people feel like crap."
Oh, I know it doesn't come naturally, and it won't be easy. But I'm putting out the challenge. ( I may or may not be able to write something about this throughout Lent, but with God's help, I'm going to try to do it for the next 40 days.) Join me if you have the guts. If we say we believe in Jesus, this is one way we can actually comply with His directions, not to mention imitate His example.