Tuesday, March 24, 2009

day 2, praying for people i don't like

And God is able to make all grace abound in you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corithians 9:8



gesh im so glad God makes the grace and i'm not the one who's supposed to because if i had to make my own, i'd be a black hearted fool no doubt. this is proving a lot harder than i anticipated. if you want to go beyond scratching the surface on the subject of whether or not you are a good person, start praying about people you hate. we all do it, we all need some level of change to happen in us. i'm only on day 2 of this exercise and already im seeing what a black hearted person i can be. my inbox practically beamed at me this morning with this persons name highlighted. under it a prayer of transformation, forgiveness, repentance, and gah LOVE. how can i love this man after what he's done? what breaks the heart of the Lord should break your heart too and boy, i felt that brokenness. but i took that brokenness and instead of turning it into an opportunity to show grace and forgiveness, i shun this guy. when i know i am going to come into contact with him i huddle my kids around me as from a wolf and adopt a look of scorn and a tongue of gossip and slander. i definitely campaign against this guy every opportunity i have. and i am now confessing and repenting of that. i struggle with the idea of accepting this man as a Brother in Christ because i know a certain measure of his failings and i hold onto it very tightly.

4 comments:

Hallie said...

Hey there! I'm a first time commenter, but I've been reading your blog for awhile now. I love your posts, but these recent posts about praying for people you don't like have gotten me out of lurking!

The previous post to this one on this topic was PERFECT timing for me. I've been struggling with this myself, and the other day when you posted it was exactly on my mind. I was wishing I had someone to talk with this about, besides my husband; I needed a female Christian friend. And then I saw your post!!! So thank you!

I've been struggling with one person in particular. Its funny, because I hate hate hate her, and as much as I want to get away from her it would benefit me to just be friendly and deal. So instead I pray about it (being more tolerant, understanding, loving) while at the same time almost begging people to just tell me to drop her from my life! But when I do give God the chance, and I put myself around her, he really blesses. Of course, this only happens when I open my heart and trust Him. And unfortunately inbetween visits with this lady, I let myself get angry about her/her attitude again. Maybe one day I'll finally turn my heart over completely to Him on this matter; like you said, its easier said than done!

Thank you for your posts, and I'm sorry I haven't thanked you before now!

jenny mae. said...

thanks for coming out of lurking and into first time commenter!!

Matt said...

Jenny,

I didn't know you disliked me so much :) I read a great book after my grandfather passed called Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr. The whole premise is on loving your enemies, and it is very powerful (especially when you think about the fact that he was saying these things as people were openly plotting to kill him.)

One passage I love:

"Why should we love our enemies?

The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiples hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

Another reason why we must love our enemies is that hate scars the soul and distorts the personality. Mindful that hate is an evil and dangerous force, we too often think of what it does to the person hated. This is understandable, for hate brings irreparable damage to its victims.

But there is another side which we must never overlook. Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

A third reason why we should love our enemies is that love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy be getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power."

The book is yours to read if you are interested!

jenny mae. said...

matt the only time i "hate" you is when you beat my butt at scrabble! btw let's get that going again!

i really love martin luther king jr. i mean that seems so cliche but the man was an inspirational pacifist, christian, just general beacon of life amongst a darkness. i'd love to read it! let me first see if it's at the library. i frequent it quite a bit :)

another book i will recommend to everyone, and i will blog about this book soon, is called "what's so amazing about grace?" by phillip yancy. i've learned SO much from it about forgiving people through it.