“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. – Matthew 5:43-45
I have written and spoken in the past about forgiveness and why it is important in the lives of believers. But on a very personal level, let me share a little about what happens when you personally try to live this out. When you realize you are being attacked wrongfully, first check your own heart and confess or apologize for any wrongdoing you have done. This step alone will begin a healing process in your heart. Then, begin praying for the person who seems like your enemy. Rather than replaying the pain, or rehearsing your response, take your issue directly to the Lord, and end by praying blessings upon the other person. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Every time that wound gets opened up fresh again, repeat. When you are suddenly emotionally overwhelmed, do it again.
In my life when this has been my response to wrong doers, this has been the fastest and only effective way I have known to overcome times of being attacked. In time you come to realize that the person who is attacking you is not your enemy. No, we have a common enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy, and he will use other people to tear us down, ruin our faith, and encourage us to act like undignified unbelievers. Then our fervent prayers change from: “Lord stop them” to “Lord, stop the enemy from attacking and controlling them.”
When these times come, remember we have a messiah who was viciously attacked, even to the point of death. And he did handle his accusers is this way. Nothing I have faced can even come close to the pain inflicted upon the perfect Christ. I am so thankful for his example that he lived out in his days that we now call “Holy Week.”
“Jesus: His Life” explores the story of Jesus Christ through a unique lens: the people in his life who were closest to him. Each of the eight chapters is told from the perspective of different biblical figures, all of whom played a pivotal role in Jesus’ life including Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary Mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Peter.
Each figure takes a turn guiding viewers through the emotional and epic story of the most famous man in history, through his birth, death and resurrection, all conveyed through a combination of scripted drama and interviews with prominent religious and historical experts. Utilizing some of the world’s most respected Biblical scholars, historians, faith leaders and theologians, the series weaves together the canonical Gospels, historical sources and cultural context to create a complete portrait of Jesus – the man and the Messiah. The series finale airs this Monday, April 15 on The History Channel at 8pm ET/PT.