By: Jimmy Cox,
Everyone has those sins that they struggle with and I am no different. Recently as I was quietly pondering over a retreat reflection I am giving, I came across two pieces of scripture that related well to my reflection story. I decided writing about this for the blog made the most sense. In addition, for a long time I have felt God was helping me to work on this particular sin; judgement.
Luke 6: 31-33, 35
Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and give, expecting nothing back.
I am a quick decision and impatient person. In addition, the love for my family and friends can make me irrational as I imagine it can for a lot of us. The situation involved my family and one person in particular who I felt had wronged my family and I multiple times. The challenge was this person cannot exactly remove themselves from our lives. In this scripture, he would be my enemy. While I have tried to pray for him and pray to God that I am going to change, I would be lying if I said my attitudes toward him had shifted. Every time I feel like I am making progress, something happens that makes me revert.
I have struggled to love those that are my enemies, who do wrong to my friends and family. I believe in terms of sin, this is the most challenging. However, it relates to one of the most fundamental principles that Christ taught us. Christ endured pain and suffering from so many people, but while he was dying on the cross he asked his father to forgive them. It was the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate expression of love. If Christ can forgive and love those that wronged him and give us salvation, then we must work in our lives to love those that are our enemy and that would see us suffer. Then we are truly living as God called us to live.
Just think what would happen if the world practiced love more? We have so much war, hate, jealousy, and anger out there. We try to fix it while failing to realize that the only thing that fixes it, is loving one another the way God wants us to. My challenge to you is to practice love more. Ask for forgiveness for those times you have failed to do so. Sit down with those who have wronged you. Talk to those whom you would rather not. Most importantly, work to forgive these people and yourself. I know I still am.