But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:44 )
My mom always says, "You can't claim a virtue that has never been put under fire". Well, I am being given the opportunity to claim a virtue, the virtue of "loving your enemy". I am sure I always thought that I was living this principle. But...I didn't have any enemies (at least that I knew of:)). I didn't have to do good to those that hate me or pray for those that persecuted me. I do now. It makes me sad to think of this person as my "enemy". That is a harsh word. But, they do seem to hate me. They do persecute me. They do seem to have no love in their heart for me. I guess maybe it's more appropriate to say that they see me as their enemy. I have to find a way to not respond when this person says hurtful things about me or to me. I have to find a way to pray for them and I don't mean just to mention their name in my prayers, but to honestly and with true intent pray for them. I have to love them, even though they hate me. I have to forgive them, even if they never change. How do I do that? How do I live this principle? Any of you have practice in this area? Advice? I would appreciate all the help that I can get, cause this is hard!