So, many of us go through life either making enemies or somehow becoming somebody's enemy and not even know it. I am a victim of both. I can proudly say that I no longer have any enemies. Through Christ I have forgiven any enemies that I had picked up along my lost journey. Now, if somebody views me as their enemy, well that's a different story. I realized a long time ago that I cannot control what others do with their free time. I have also learned that to have an enemy is way too much work and heartache. It puts more heartache on your own heart than whoever you are holding a grudge against.
Which brings me to the word "grudge". This is the word that starts it all! This word is what creates an enemy. Think about it, the word starts with "grrrrr.....". Already a sign of negativity and attack! Holding a grudge is equivalent to locking yourself in a closet with a hungry beast. It's so easy to suffocate yourself with all the anxiety and hatred that holding a grudge brings and that hungry beast, he will eat you ALIVE. Loving others is so much healthier and pleasant. Not just spiritually but physically and mentally as well.
"Forget about the wrong things people do to you, and do not try and get even. Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Leviticus 19:18
So, how are we to deal with "enemies". It's easy, DON'T fight back and LOVE all people! The Gospels, Matthew and Luke, teach us how to deal with enemies and what God expects from us.
"But I tell you, don't stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also." Matthew 5:39
"But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:44-45
"But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you." Luke 6:27-28
Why spend the energy or time that God has blessed us with hating one another or trying to get back at a person? God has a special work of art in us and none of it includes grudges or hate. Our lives are our own testimony of God and should teach, inspire, encourage, and uplift others. People who view our lives should not have to view hatred or grudges but view love and peace and most of all Christ! It is important the character we allow others to see is a character of love. What others see is what we show God to be. So, don't hold grudges or exhibit hate because that is not the picture of God that we should paint to others.
I encourage those of you who are holding grudges to pray to God and take that grudge to the Cross where it belongs. Get rid of it and love your enemies. Love your enemies so much that you no longer view them as enemies or a threat. Forgive and let go. Give the problem to God and trust that He is taking care of you and is always on your side. It is not our place for vengeance but our place to love and show the mercy of Christ as He has shown us! Let your life be a beautiful painting of God's love. Whether you like it or not, people are viewing you. What kind of picture are you painting for them?