Forgiveness is hard. I know. Especially when there’s people out there who listen to smooth jazz.
Think of the people that treat you unfairly. Or yell at you, or speak down to you. Anyone really who treats you in a way you don’t appreciate. Maybe family members, classmates, co-workers, waiters, teachers, ex-spouses or ex-boy/girlfriends. Your list will start to get really long, so I suggest that you alphabetize your list.
Yeah, you’re supposed to forgive them, but forgiveness must go beyond that. You might be asking, how much further can you go past forgiveness? It’s done, I forgave them. There’s nothing else to do. Ah but there is…
MT 5: But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
And I’m pretty sure this verse isn’t talking about prayers like, “I pray that they would be attacked by wolverines,” or “I pray that they would fall into broken glass.” That doesn’t count.
During our prayers at night it’s really easy to pray for people we care about. But where in our prayers is the list of people we hate, or the people who are our enemies?
If you think this is easy, then let me ask you this. If you’re a Democrat, do you find it easy to pray for Bush, Rush Limbaugh or Dracula? If you’re a Republican do you find it easy to pray for Obama, Al Gore, or Voldemort? If we have a hard time praying for people we don’t even know, how much harder would it be for us to pray for us who directly hurt or annoy us in our everyday lives?
So what do we do?
In our daily prayer, right after you’re done praying for those you love, make a slot of prayer for those you have a hard time forgiving. And maybe this can turn our hearts around to where we see them from a Godly perspective and where we can start praying for them out of love.
MT 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Take time to pray: Pray for your list of people that you are trying to forgive. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Love.