'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Would you like to get even with your enemies? Or perhaps a little more than even. Maybe give them twice what he they have dished out to you? Your can. And you can do it with Christ's approval.
The very worst thing you can do to you enemy, regardless of what they have done to you, is to pray for them! Someone has said, do good to your enemies; it will drive them crazy!
Maybe. Maybe not. But praying for them makes it easier to love them - in exact proportion.
It is important how you do good to them who are your enemies, and especially how you pray for them. Make sure that you pray FOR them, and not against them. There is an irony which is illustrated by how David responded to his oppressors. Praying for your enemies can often be very difficult. Turning the other cheek as Jesus commanded is seldom recommended today, and even less practiced. Praying for an enemy is following the principle of Jesus' command.
Praying for (not against) them can often turn them into a peaceful attitude. Also if you feel that someone with whom you have had a good relationship begins to distance themselves, or to turn against you, pray for (not against) them. This is the principle and the spirit of Jesus' command to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).
If the antagonism becomes open hostility and threat of open danger of some type, then it may be time for you to ask God to intervene drastically according to His will. David in extremely dangerous situations prayed for the punishment and even destruction of his enemies, not by his hand necessarily, but by God's hand. Sometimes he was so desperate that all he could muster to pray was two words: "Help Lord!" (Psalm 12:1). The important difference in praying for your enemy is that your prayer should not be YOU against your enemy, but that GOD will be their enemy on your behalf.
This way, you are giving the decision to act against your enemy into God's hands. You have released your normal response to the wrong done to you, and delegated it and its retribution into God's control. You are released from the natural tendency to get even into God hands for His perfect judgment. In the meantime, continue to pray FOR your enemy by praying God's will be done in the situation.
There is a truism that applies here. If your complaint is just, it will in some way be justified by God. If it is unjust, it cannot be justified. By you or God. Your desire for retribution against your enemy in either case will be justified ultimately by God. It must be this way, or else you become the enemy of God's will for your life and the life of your enemy. There is an overall principle that must be accepted and lived by: "If it be possible, as much as in you lies, be at peace with all men." - Romans 12:18
If there is someone in your life who insists on being your antagonist or an outright enemy, your best defense is to pray, and pray, and pray FOR them. Praying FOR entails not only praying that the wrongs they are doing you cease, but that they may be blessed by God by His intervention in their life for their good. This of course would involve their repentance which would result in their cessation of being your enemy.
After all the evangelism, all the preaching, all the turning of the cheek, the suffering, the heartache, the mistakes, and yes, all the sins (which are forgiven) - after all the praying down through the ages - if only one enemy gained eternal life...it would be worth it all. (Romans 11:14). Is your enemy worth praying for?
Remember...the more you pray for your enemies, the easier it will be for you to love them.
"You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike]. For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that? You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:43-48 (AMP)
"Point of Reference" from
The Trouble With SpinRead Article »
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "'Christ in You...'" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.