I have always struggled with certain passages in the Bible like when Jesus instructs us that we are to love our enemies and ask God to bless them.
When someone hurts you and then you hear that you are to ask God to bless them, you just want to scream, “What? Are you kidding me?!”
The last thing I really want God to do is bless them! It seems all the compassion I can muster is to ask God to not let them suffer too long when that bus you wished for them runs them over.
Let’s face it, forgiveness is hard, and asking for them to be blessed can seem downright cruel of Him to ask.
Then it was shown to me that I misunderstood the lesson.
When Jesus said we are to love our enemies and ask God to bless them, He wasn’t saying we should ask God to send them money, lots of stuff, or for them to achieve great financial success and have all their hearts desire.
Jesus meant we are to ask God to bless them in the way that is most beneficial to all. We are to ask God for Him to show Himself to them, to softly reach out to them, to open their eyes to the hurt they’ve caused and to seek God for their own benefit, not ours.
Ok, that I think I can do.
Now that I get it, it may be just a bit easier to ask God to bless my enemies instead of praying for that bus to come and run them over, or whatever other calamity I may be thinking.
I also have noticed it takes less painful effort to do this than to waste my time and emotions stewing over the hurt.
It’s the same as the lesson of turning the other cheek. God doesn’t want us to be doormats for other people! Good thing, because I have a short fuse for that!
He wants us to forgive others as He has forgiven us. How many times have you’ve been angry at God and have hurt Him and he turned the other cheek? He forgave and forgot, and He does it much quicker than we do.
I believe the turn the other cheek is to behave in a way that means we don’t exact our revenge on others for hurting us, though at the moment it really sounds good, doesn’t it?
It means we are to ask God to be our vindicator as he really knows how to get to the other person – through their heart.
Where we just want to hurt them back, which really accomplishes nothing, God wants to reach them, turn them around and help them along the right path. Kind of like he is already doing with us.
Ouch! That stings a bit.
This method really benefits us. Think back to the times when someone really hurt you and you asked for them to be hurt just as bad. Only to watch them seemingly be blessed in ways of finances, things given to them that you wanted and success in ways you can only dream of.
Ahhhh! Why is God blessing them when you were the one that was hurt?!
It seems like you are the one who got hurt while they seem to be getting rewarded for their bad behavior. What gives?
Well, we know that it does balance out. Call it karma or call it God's way of making sure everyone is even, either way - what you reap, you eventually will sow.
And a life that appears calm and perfect on the surface often can mean there is a fierce undercurrent of disaster that is hidden from our view just under that seemingly perfect life.
So, the next time someone really is awful to you, don’t assume God wants you to get all the junk and the enemy to prosper. Ask God what He wants you to do.
Forgive might be a word that quickly comes to mind. It may taste bad at first, but it’s OK for you to ask God to help you do that. Then ask Him to bless your enemies now that you know what it really means.
You may just find that the blessing is yours. J