I recently had an opportunity to encourage someone who I knew was feeling stressed and anxious, and had been having a tough time lately. So I started writing them a note, complete with quotes and scriptures to uplift them, when a funny thing happened. My mind went back to a not so far off time when this person had really hurt me. My pen stops mid-stroke and I ask myself,
“Why am I doing this when this person treated me like that!!”
So this is where I have to make a decision: do I still encourage this person, or do I let my feelings decide my actions? Earlier I had read this in Romans 8:6, “…but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;”. Well, God says to encourage one another and to love and pray for those who have hurt us. In order to do this we need to be Spirit-led.
“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” – Matthew 5:44
Now this does not mean that you have to make yourself a doormat or let someone constantly abuse you; we still need to guard our hearts. But we always need to forgive, and if we have an opportunity to bless someone we should do it; even if they have hurt us in the past. Christ took the ultimate abuse for us to have life, and have it abundantly. If He can do that for us, we can certainly extend our hand to someone else; even if they have recently bit it!