It is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I prayed for someone who I dislike very much. He has used his position to be verbally abusive to me and my coworkers. He is in a position of power (I am not). Many people complain about his antics. He has a long list of reports against him. I can’t go into detail here, but suffice it to say that he has pushed me to my proverbial limits…and then some. I know it’s difficult to understand this without all the details, but I do not like this man. I do not want to be near him. I do not want to talk to him.
I am not proud of my anger for this man. I hope it will go away. But it is a real situation that I need to deal with now. I know that I must part with this anger and I pray that God will take it from me and that I will be able to deal with this hardship in the workplace and transcend the nonsense of it all.
A little background…..I played football as a kid in grade school up through college. There were always situations in which competition would lead to altercations and soon punches would be thrown and a fight would start. That’s how I remember dealing with adversity…to fight for your honor. Football is a tough sport and you need to show how tough you are sometimes by fighting for yourself. Well, in the corporate world, you just can’t do that because you’d be out the door in a flash, fired….and there goes your paycheck and your pension. Too much to lose, too little to gain by using fisticuffs. (I know that is being weak…even mentioning fighting but, I am human, and the thought crossed my mind…happy to say it is only a thought.) But that’s what I was used to. That’s how I was brought up….to be a tough kid, to be aggressive. You had to be aggressive to play football! Now, I have to be politically correct and be professional and be Christ-like. Let me tell you, it’s not easy in the heat of the moment to turn the other cheek! It kind of makes you wonder how difficult it must have been for Jesus to say, “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” I mean, He could have had all the centurions destroyed with a blink of his eye. But He obviously had a greater goal in mind, we all know.
If you are like me, you are struggling to lead a good life, knowing that you are a sinner, faltering at times, but always coming back to God for His mercy and love. This is my life, in a nut-shell. But I have to remember that in this life, I must do what God wants, NOT what I want. God makes the rules, right!
I struggle to be Christ-like every day and I don’t do a very good job of it.
Here is Matthew 5:43 and following…..”You have heard it was said, ‘Love you friends, hate your enemies’. But I tell you now, love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you so that you may become the sons of your Father in heaven. For He makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and who gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even pagans do that! You must be perfect – just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Talk about “hard teaching” (reference to John 6:53). This might be one of the hardest teachings in the bible…especially if you are”living it” like I am doing as I write this. I am sure many of you have also encountered or are encountering difficult people at work or in other aspects of your lives who have angered you….who really push your buttons and try your patience. Do you pray for them? If not, start today! It’s not easy to be perfect….but don’t ever stop trying! Love your enemies by praying for them. As Nike says, “Just do it”.