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But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute youMatthew 5:44/NIV
There was a time when I lived in a neighborhood where dogs with vicious tendencies roamed. There were several occasions when these dogs attacked our pet on our property and threatened me. Numerous discussions occurred with the owners about the community leash laws did not help keep their dogs under control. Local animal control officials were contacted on several occasions with complaints endorsed, and they visited the owners. Their assistance was helpful because the dogs stopped roaming.
On a separate matter, I worked with a disgruntled employee at a place of employment. This person apparently harbored animosity towards me and eventually vented their frustrations. The claims and accusations were unwarranted, but I did not attempt to correct this person’s inaccurate views and beliefs. Sometime later, a discussion with leadership about this person’s frustrations occurred, and it was apparent there was more to the story than I knew. Apparently, there were more disgruntled co-workers. Leadership reassured me I had done nothing wrong, and my professionalism was observed.
The night after the discussion with leadership, I had the most interesting dream! I dreamed of vicious dogs swarming around me, ready to attack (they were the same breed as the roamers in my neighborhood)! I believe the discussion with the leader triggered a subconscious formulation of an association with the vicious dogs and the disgruntled co-worker(s). It is interesting how humanity can reflect qualities similar to aggressive canine mannerisms and behaviors! I suppose it would be easy to respond to our aggressors similarly; however, in doing so, who wins? Let’s explore Jesus Christ’s teaching about aggressors.
In Matthew 5, Jesus Christ indicates we should extend love to those who wish us ill will! He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (v. 44). Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God (v. 9). Following the teaching by Jesus Christ, we should pray for our adversary, demonstrate love and be a peacemaker and not respond with aggression. Jesus even said: “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:51-52). A person’s destructive nature will lead to their fall! That is great teaching with broad-spectrum applicability!
Self-reflection consideration: When my adversary is troubled with me, can I practice what Jesus taught?
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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