How to Love Your Enemy

Jesus calls us to love our enemies. This calling is not an easy thing to do at all. Though, this is something I am getting better at.

Now, before I begin, I want to say this is not a sure-fire way to learn to love your enemies. It may work for some people and for some it may not work. It may depend on the person’s disposition.

The way I have gotten a little better at loving my enemies is by praying for them and trying to understand why they did what they did. Loving is much easier when you forgive, and forgiveness is much easier to give once you have understanding. In understanding, you realize things aren’t black and white, and there is the shade of gray.

Now, forgiveness doesn’t have to be the first step. However, If you can simply pray for the person’s well-being and growth in the faith; you are likely going to develop good will for people. The practice may be very uncomfortable. From this uncomfortableness, you’ll grow and mature into it so that it becomes second nature to you to pray for people who have hurt you and hold malice for you. It is praying for them and wishing them well in my prayers that I have seemed to have formed the habit of loving my enemies. It helped me see beyond the black and white. And it helped me see beyond how what their actions affected me, and, also, how they might be just very confused or be in a bad situation themselves.

An essential point I want to mention is that this love is more of an act of will than emotion. It is something you will for. You may still hurt inside, but through your will you can want good for them and want what’s best for them.

It may take a while though. I may not hold malice for a girl at my university that slandered me and my reputation, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of her or wasn’t trying to avoid her. Though, my therapist told me I am not allowed to be around her physically or emotionally for my mental health.

Loving your enemies is definitely a process and something we have to work on. It’s definitely not something you’ll just wake up and have one day. You have to make a choice to start doing it and trying your best at it. You have to choose to love your enemy and from this choice you will grow more into that virtue with practice!

I want to wish all my followers a Happy good Friday and easter! I hope you have a great Holy Week!

Who I Was and Who I Am

On this late night many things are on my mind. Things involving my past and the person I am today. Looking back at just two years ago, the change of my understanding of love is astounding to me. My aptitude to give love and love people despite the hurt they inflict on me is something I didn’t have before. The loving and sweet person, some of you know today, back then was a slightly different person two years ago. There are many things different about me today as compared to two years ago, but most of it boils down to truly learning what Love is. It’s incredible how I can still love the girl who spread rumors about me and would even likely take her back and be friends again if she would talk to me and try and reconcile with me. This is not something that just happened overnight this willingness to love someone like that. They say suffering teaches us lessons we have yet to learn and helps in our sanctification. And there is truth to that statement.

There is a quote by Mother Theresa which basically states love hurts. Loving someone is not easy, especially since we are called to love like God. This means loving when they hate you or are angry at you for stupid reasons. It means loving them and caring about them even when they ridicule you or make fun of you. God reconciles all people if they have a true heart and are guilty for what they have done. Love is painful because despite someone hurting you, you don’t harden your heart. Your heart is still open to love them. It’s still warm, and not ice cold to them. You haven’t turned away from them completely and still have hope in your heart for them.

They also say forgiving is hard, and I will be first to vouch for that statement. The more I reflected on forgiveness this semester and what makes, at times, some things easier to forgive than others, I found was if I had an understanding of why someone did what they did. Understanding in my perspective became key to forgiveness, because in the end everyone is just trying their best and most of the time trying to do what they think is right. I can’t say I have met a person who didn’t have a piece of goodness in them. I would even contend Adolf Hitler still had a shred of goodness in him after all the terrible things he did. There is some goodness in everyone and when you understand they are not doing the things they are doing, most of the time, because they are bad or evil then it makes it easier to forgive. You have this understanding of how a deed transpired and how the options were not black and white. Basically to restate my key point, forgiveness seems to be tied to understanding and understanding helps one forgive another.

I have found the person I am today tends to cherish the good in people and, sometimes to a fault, try and look for that good in a person and give the person the benefit of the doubt. Only more study of my faith and more guidance from God will tell me if I am on the right track in following Jesus and his steps. One thing I am learning at present is the reality of who I am is not contingent on others thoughts or words. I am what I am, and someone’s skewed perspective of me does not change who I am or what is true. What false things people think about me doesn’t matter. What people say or think doesn’t mean it’s who I actually am. This is especially true if the person is not my friend. Wounds and reproves from a friend can be trusted. And from my experience with rumors, I have learned to get to know a person and know the real them, before listening or giving heed to things being said about them.

To wrap this up, the only thing I can say for sure is there is more growing to come and I pray God gives me great patience on my journey to be what I am called to be.

Love

This week I meditated on the concept of love and my intrapersonal relationships came up in the meditation. I compared how the bible describes love and my love and my friend’s love in the relationship we have.

The concept of love in society is most depicted as a feeling and can often be depicted as conditional in the media. I tried to understand how there seems to be an imbalance between how we love and the way we are supposed to love. As I thought about it the more and about experiences with people I have had the more I find something is missing. What’s missing is that the majority don’t know what love actually is. They don’t see how love is choice and it should be unconditional. Love cannot be earned nor is it having your friends agree with you all the time. In the very essence of Love, love and truth coexist. Truth and love must co-exist because without a friend pointing out your problems you could never grow into a better person. A friend says these things and still loves you despite your decisions and your flaws. In the other side, you could take your friends truthful honest word as pointing out your flaws and not realizing that they love you despite them and taking great offense. Love is not conditional, it’s meant to be unconditional. Therefore, it should not matter what you go through or what mistake you made because love bears all things. “Bearing all things” is a choice someone makes. Therefore, you can choose to love someone enough to bear the terrible times. I think there is clear lack of understanding of this among people.

Perhaps, this perceived notion of love being a choice is what makes a person care too much about others. Perhaps, this is why there is unbalance between relationships and their level, because one chooses to love despite the mistakes and the troubles. Perhaps this why marriages fail because they both have to consider love a choice and something followed by action. Love has to have action as well, because actions prove the words someone spoke are true. From love actions flow from it, if the actions aren’t there then it isn’t love. Love is a verb, and actions communicate love. Actions are a key element to love, you can not have love if there are no actions.

I want to and re-focus again on the aspect of truth and love co-existing. To turly know someone you have to be real with them. In my eyes, it is not love to drag someone around especially if you don’t want to maintain the relationship with them. To me, it’s more in the sense of love to just be direct with them and get it over with and not dragging them through the mud. Therefore, communication has to be truthful. I think you guys are understanding what I am saying on thsi topic.

I also want to mention, I don’t want to limit love to just one area becasue you can love a total stranger. Love is doing what’s best for the person. Love is also where you put someone’s best interest before your onwn. There are so many aspects to love, but only some are more focused on in the secular world than the other facets to it.

In essence, Love is a concept that has been distorted by society and it also seems like only few actually achieve the level of love that we are suppose to. The more I think about it the more, I find that love is something everyone can improve on. It is a skill that I don’t think can stop growing. It was a really eye opening experience and helped me better understand love and how it doesn’t give up. It’s like God spoke to me about even if people don’t love like I do, I am doing the right thing by the way I love others. That’s not to say I am perfect at loving becasue i defiantely have areas i need to improve on, but that it’s a good thing i care so much about others.