“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you…” Matthew 5:44
Politics as Usual
As I read this verse I stopped and considered who my enemies were. No one armed and dangerous was hunting me down. No one was pelting my car with eggs or attacking my home with toilet paper flung hither and yon. No one was set on assaulting me, or arresting me, or throwing me in a cell and losing the key. My friends were friendly and my neighbors were neighborly. I told the Lord, “I don’t think I have any enemies.”
Then the Lord brought to mind a certain politician who is prominent, public, and powerful. I could see her face. I could hear her voice. Everything I believe in and hold dear, she opposes. Her plans and purposes are diametrically opposed to what I would want to see accomplished in our nation. I sometimes wonder where she even comes up with this stuff. We disagree on every point. She annoys me. She frustrates me. But I don’t consider her my enemy. She is just who she is, as I am who I am. She believes one thing. I believe another. That doesn’t make her my enemy does it? She is my opposite. It’s not personal.
However, I confess that I have frequently made snarky remarks about her or belittled her through “humor.” My thoughts toward her have not been kind. I have yelled at her via the television. From the safety of my recliner I have told her a thing or two!
In considering the above verse of Scripture, I had stopped at the thought of “enemies.” I had not considered that the point of the verse was not to identify enemies, but to bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Oh…bless those who annoy me? Pray for those who frustrate me? Love those who disagree with me?
And so over the past few weeks I have been praying for this particular woman. I have learned a lot about my own heart in the process. I can’t say that I like her any better, but I am beginning to truly want good for her and that she will be used of God for His purposes. After all, He put her in that position. She is made in the image of God as I am made in the image of God. Jesus died for her and is concerned for her. He wants me to pray for her. Thus, I pray out of obedience, for I want to please Him. I am not certain what He is doing in her life, but I know assuredly that He is doing a work in this heart of mine.
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…” (1 Timothy 2:1).
“Father, You love big and You love wide and You love deep. Bless this soul and reveal Yourself to her. Grant her health and wisdom and peace of mind. Thank You for showing me I can do better. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”