LOVE YOUR FRENEMIES
‘Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’ Matthew 5:44 NKJV
When the old ‘love your enemies’ verse gets trotted out too many times, it gets easy to ignore. “Enemies” becomes a category in your head for the sort of people who tread your personal like/dislike line, not the people who are more than intolerable and fry your brain when you think about them.
Today’s translation of the verse gives it back some of the oomph it might be missing for you. ‘Those who spitefully use you’. Mm. That’s beyond frenemy status, that’s some bitter grounds right there. Try thinking of people who make you feel like that.
And now some actual practical help, beyond just making you get riled up. You can make some token gestures of helping and loving people you really dislike, and that’s worth doing, but getting to the place where you can love your enemies from your heart might mean going through a couple of stages first. So. Part one of the process, today. Here we go:
Thinking about people who have hurt you is hard, and it often causes us to take out our anger in other ways – like punching pillows, or writing furious blogs. This is a common way we try to ‘get over’ our anger, but it’s scientifically a bit questionable: all it does is reinforce your brain even more firmly into anger mode. So today, if you’re struggling to get rid of some anger, try this. Just stop. That’s right. Stop. It sounds ridiculous – how on earth? – but try it as an experiment, if nothing else. Take 5, dock the feelings, get on with your day, and come back to us tomorrow...