Okay, what that really means is that I know I shouldn’t, but that doesn’t stop me.
Do you have trouble holding grudges, either consciously or unconsciously? Does it matter whether or not harm was meant?
Should it matter?
How do we judge the actions and motives of others? Do we take circumstances outside our knowledge into account, such as the person’s background or current circumstances? Or do we, without hesitation, view every offense as an intentional injury? We are wired via human nature to hold others accountable. We feel it’s our right, even our duty. After all, people shouldn’t get away with doing that, not to us or anyone else.
In my upcoming novel, Like There’s No Tomorrow, the hero, Ian, faces his longstanding mortal hatred for a man who wronged and wounded him deeply. Ian can’t let go of his bitterness, and understandably. After all, he’s human. Humans are self-preserving. We are wired for survival. This is logical. We are logical.
But God is often not logical, and is, in fact, the God of Irony, as I have learned and am reminded again and again. A few examples:
- But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matt 5:44)
- Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. (Rom 12:14)
- Vengeance is mine. (not yours) (Rom 12:19)
God’s ways are too often incomprehensible, too often unnatural to our way of thinking. Perhaps unnatural because He is supernatural. To align ourselves with the supernatural (and God-illogical) requires an uncomfortable amount of surrender and blind faith.
In this above-mentioned story, Emily, the heroine, suggests that Ian try praying for the man who wronged him. After all, she says, what can it hurt?
Is it possible to be free from bitterness and feel only compassion for the one who hurt you?
I bared my soul over a similar situation in THIS POST. No, you’re right, it’s no coincidence that a real-life experience ended up in my novel. Art has an interesting way of imitating life (or is it the other way around?).
I hope you will get a chance to read the book and keep the miracle that inspired that part of the story in mind. If you do, I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts.
Q: Have you ever prayed for an enemy? If so, what happened?