Over the years, as God has been shaping and refining me, I have noticed that my character defends me time and time again. I’ve seen the enemy silenced, narratives debunked, and foes scattered. God knows how to get things done, my friends, and what an honor it is to be used to get…things…done for the kingdom! It’s worth it to just show up sometimes.
The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.Deuteronomy 28:7 (NKJV)
I know society tells us not to dwell on the past. I’ve said it too, but today I’m talking about it. I’m talking about them. Those we know have had negative conversations about us behind our backs. Those frenemies who have fired shots with backhanded compliments and somehow caused public humiliation…without public notice. Those who have allowed their jealousy to rise up and morph them into bullies, making us their target. Those who have rallied troops against you…and me. Those who have masked their nosiness with concern, only to vomit all you’ve shared, with, guess who? more of them!
This is what I have to say to you about them.
Call me naïve, but I wholeheartedly believe that there are so many who know not what they do when they do those evil things. We don’t know all that is in our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)! I think few people are hurting us intentionally, and many are living and loving the best way they can…even if that way is trash. Forgiveness doesn’t mean a rocked relationship will be restored to what it was. It may be better, it may be very different, it may or may not be both.
Forgiveness does not mean excusing.– C.S. Lewis
Forgiveness can be super tough, but is always worth it. It keeps our most prized relationship (with God) intact and functioning healthily. The sin of unforgiveness is way too costly for us to allow it to gestate. It can manifest through bitterness, physical pain, strife, sickness, disease, etc., as it slowly… separates…us…from…God. Christ gave us a prescription for many things on the cross. Pardon them, He pardons you (Matt. 6:14).
Don’t bend for them.
I know the room is dark, but keep showing up and letting that light of yours shine. oh, and please don’t dim it when you get there. I know you feel alone, but God is on your side, fighting for you! Dwell on the good that God has done and keep a grateful heart. Don’t let them make you shrink back or give in. I know you don’t want them around, but God has prepared a pretty awesome table for you in their presence. The spread is for you, friend! 😉
You prepare a feast [table] for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.Psalm 23:5 (NLT)
Pray and release them.
The truth is, we’re not the only one He loves, ya know. God loves them like crazy, too. They too are image bearers of Christ, (though it may be a greatly distorted image in this season of their life). We may unknowingly be a “them” for someone else. If you can find it in your heart to forgive and genuinely pray for them, it’ll do humanity some good. If you can release that prayer to heaven and leave it there, it’ll do you some good. Sometimes we forget that we really can change the world with prayer. As my late aunt would say, “prayer is the most you can do.” When we release them in prayer, the matter is out of our hands and head, left in the best hands of all. We are free to be, trusting that it’s taken care of by a Righteous Judge.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.Matthew 5:44 (NIV)
This song is an oldie but goodie that God used to bind up my wounds and reaffirm truth. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?Romans 8:13 (NIV)
©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson