Love of Enemies v2

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I have done a major rewrite of the chapter "Love of Enemies: The Way of the Cross". I think it is a big improvement and reads a lot better. let me know what you think.

read chapter "Love of Enemies: The Way of the Cross"

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At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It *does* read more smoothly.

I still double-dog dare you to keep the notebook of injustices for a week and do some of the work on creative imagining what love of enemies would look like, and add your results.

I'm actually going to add that to my "things to blog" list.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a good idea. I think even more bloggy would be to have people post their results here, and that way we can have it be a communal exercise.

One thing that I noticed really helped me is to pray for the other person. Not as in "Lord make them change" but more like "Lord show me how I can show them grace". I've found that praying a blessing over someone I am conflict with can have some profound results, and it helps me to get my heart in line with God's.

What have been your experiences?

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely praying. That really has been the most effective way to change my heart.

Now, a way to jump-start my mind is this. Let's say someone does something really rotten to me; let's say they drop some malicious gossip that finds its way back to me. As a Christian, I think, "Gee I oughtta find a way to turn that around and return good for evil" but my mind isn't going there yet, y'know, resentment still steaming. So I bait my sinful nature to get it to do the imaginative work for me. I feed it this thought: "See, I'm a good person, they shouldn't have treated me like that. You know, in fact, the really nice thing they should have done towards me instead is _____." And sometimes the sinful nature will fill in the blank. "They should've been saying *nice* things about me to find their way back around, that's what they should've done." Well, that idea is probably what I should do to return good for evil, I should see to it that there's some praise circulating in the office from me about them. That's doing to others as I want them to do towards me.

Now that's not the most spiritual way to get there but it can work when I'm having "forgiveness block". Ideally, I'll get to the point where my redeemed nature is as practiced and creative in matters of love as my sinful nature is in matters of selfishness. Until then, well, the sinful nature has played games with my good side often enough, and it's always telling me that turnabout is fair play.

Take care & God bless


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