Enemy Feels Like a Strong Word

Love your enemy. A phrase heard so often in the church, yet one producing a wrestling match in our souls.

Who is our enemy?

And maybe we don’t use traditional words, like, “Oh, John Smith, he is my enemy.”

But it slips into our lives more subtly. The people who annoy us, so we dodge them when we pass them in the office hallway. Or the conversations you avoid because you are tired of the same conversation, where the same debate comes up—because you two will never see eye to eye.

Or sometimes it’s deeper. The people who have hurt us. Physically, emotionally, or spiritually. People who to society are justified in receiving our distrust and disengagement.

70 x 7 times. 

He had hurt me.

He had hurt people I loved.

And I felt justified in my anger, hurt, and frustration.

Until God told me it was time to start praying and let this go. It was time to loosen my rights and my view of justice and surrender it to the Almighty. 

Honestly, the prayers started out as “please fix him in this way” kind of prayers. You know the kind I am talking about . . . because you have probably prayed them before too.

Then, over time, my heart began to soften. My prayers were no longer a laundry list of ways I wished he would change. They were transforming into pleas for hope, healing, and restoration. 

God began to place a compassion on my heart I never would have imagined was possible. A compassion for him, a hope to see restoration and genuine pleas for change of both of our hearts.

70 x 7 is work. It’s not a simple mathematical equation, because God knows forgiveness is so much deeper and broader than we think.

So we press in to the Lord, bring the people in our lives before Him—and wait for transformation to unfold.

Abi Khavari traveled the world, writing for a non-profit agency in the Middle East. She now lives in Colorado, got married recently, and is starting her Masters of Counseling this spring.

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