Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
~ Matthew 5:43-45
My list just grew. Again. When they drive me crazy, I add them to my prayer list. My list had just begun to dwindle, because God changed my heart toward those precious enemies. And then, like joints often being the harbinger of challenging weather, another cropped up in an unexpected place.
Every word that proceeds from their mouth bears poison, or a club, for all the world to witness. For this person almost never speaks softly, and almost always is in a public place when they decide to “see” me.
All I can tell you is, praying for the tough ones works, because God changes me, or you. The good news is that this person has brought me closer to God, has helped me see something from their perspective, has offered me an opportunity to strengthen that weak or sensitive muscle, like a spiritual anti-inflammatory!
Today, no matter what state you find yourself in, physically, mentally, spiritually, make a list of those who need prayer, or your enemy who has not yet become beloved. God is working…
Lord, I lift ____ up to you. Again. Help me to praise you through the storm of sound, help me to remember my armor and that you have my back, and help me to grow in this experience. Thank you for the friend(s) who will tell me when I have spinach in my teeth, a dirty face, or a bad attitude. I praise you for this exercise and in this exercise. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen
Because of Him,