“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Luke 6:35 (ESV)
Loving your enemies: what a great concept. If a person actively sought to destroy you, spread false accusations against you, what would you do? Or what did you do?
Just a few years ago for me this question was no longer theoretical. A new manager was brought in to oversee a very successful project as I transitioned to start-up a key new project. I would support the old project for 2 hours/week. The new manager did not know any information technology and started messing up badly. Despite me working very hard to support my colleague and be successful, this new manager started spreading accusations and lies about me (to deflect from that manager’s own errors). Even looking back now the accusations were baseless and without merit. You can be innocent and still someone can choose to make you their target and act like an enemy.
What do you do? First, realize the gut-punch can lead to a gauntlet of emotions from shock, pain, fear, anger, uncertainty, etc. BUT … don’t be ruled by your emotions. Second, go to your knees, as you are on a battlefield and need SUPERnatural grace to do what is right. Next, discuss and pray with a few close friends, and be open to course correction for “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Pr 11:14). Ultimately, you need to find the grace to truely, sincerely pray for the best for that person or those people who mistreated you, remembering that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.” (Eph 6:12).
Is this easy? Of course not. We’re commanded not to the easy path, but to the right path.
Daily Battle Order:
Ok Disciple-maker, if side-swiped in traffic or if someone chooses to attack you at work, would you react or respond? From simple to complex, are you prepared to love them, as Jesus loved His enemies?
This is how my battle turned out: I responded (not reacted) and walked through each of the steps outlined above. That manager has moved on to other projects, better suited to that person’s skill set, and my reputation is being rebuilt, with particularly positive comments today about being key to the current project’s success.