Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
This is a very important instruction from Jesus to His disciples. And remember, we are all His disciples! We are tossed out into this World to share His love and His good news. The term “Love your neighbor” is in over 100 verses in the Bible. That alone should convince you how deeply important this action is to Jesus and His Father God.
But sometimes it can be very difficult to love everyone around us. At times it can feel downright torturous to share our belongings, our prayers, and our love, with others who do the opposite of love on us!
As I type this, I am in the middle of a situation at work, in which I certainly feel less than loved by many of my co-workers. In fact, some of them seem to hate me. It is unclear to me why they dislike me, and therefore I am baffled daily by the way certain coworkers often treat me.
I would guess that some of the people reading this have experienced a similar situation at some point in their lives. Most people have experienced, in one way or another, being mistreated by people around them for no apparent reason. It is a tough situation to be in!
When these circumstances began, I found myself reacting defensively to everything these individuals would say or do with regard to me. That strategy was quite unsuccessful. In fact, it made me feel even worse.
As I sought options and ways to deal with the uncomfortable situation at work, I began to pray for the coworkers involved. I found (of course) that the more that I prayed for them and prayed about the situation, the less anxiety I felt in the midst of this trial.
Praying for and showing love toward my coworkers did not necessarily “fix” the situation, but it certainly changed my heart for the better. I was able to let go of hard feelings and give the situation up to God, everyday, through prayer.
As I prayed about the circumstances, my heart lightened. As I prayed for my coworkers, my apprehension about the situation grew less and less. Jesus taught us, His disciples, how to pray. Understanding that prayer is helpful in all circumstances is the key to letting go and letting God handle it!
Fellow Children of God, May you always remember the power of prayer. The weight lifting, heart opening, cleansing power of prayer, is unmatched by other anxiety remedies. Give your struggles up to the One who is capable of lifting all burdens.
It is possible to show love to all people in our lives! Love them by praying for them. Love them by smiling, even when you want to cry. Love them by forgiving their actions and praying for the best for them.