WHEN WE HATE OUR ENEMIES


When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us:  power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness (Dale Carnegie).  When hate is strong (for example when we’ve been hurt, betrayed, or victimized intentionally) it can and will eat us up inside.  Our thoughts can be consumed and our emotions overwhelming with intensity.  It is so difficult to move on from a damaged relationship especially when we have been hurt in some way.  Intentional hurt is the most difficult to overcome in my opinion.  Moving past a betrayal takes considerable effort and intention.  I have found that it does help to cry because it is a grief–a loss that must be respected.  I have also found it helpful to pray for my enemies.  It’s not easy to pray for people who have intentionally hurt me–especially when they are not sorry.  On the other hand, it’s even more painful to carry the hurt and anger around.  It’s so easy to become bitter and cynical. While I don’t pray for my enemies to get their just returns, I do pray for them to make peace with themselves and submit to God’s will for their lives.  Each of us does have a purpose, a mission, and a reason for being born.  I do believe this.  Even those who reject religion, faith, or God have a purpose and a reason for being.  It’s easy to pray (or wish well if you don’t pray) for those we care about.  It’s hard, and more meaningful, to pray (or wish well) those who are our enemies–those who have hurt us.  Anger and hate are poisons and the vessel that holds them will corrode over time (Mark Twain).  It may take weeks, months, years, or decades but eventually we all can achieve a level of peace about our enemies if we do not hold on to the anger and hate but instead release it in the form of prayer or wishes for their well-being.  Give it a try–it can only help.

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