Being in business, you gain your fair share of enemies. Jealousy, indignation, fear, and failure all tend to bring out the worst in people and any time money changes hands, there is fertile soil for these emotions to grow and flourish.
In the business world, I’ve seen plenty of people—once friends, collaborators, and colleagues—turn into the bitterest of enemies. I’ve been there myself and I can tell you this, it is one of the hardest things to witness and/or be a part of. It’s also challenging to not let these instances turn you into a hardened cynic. The only means, by which you can get away with NOT becoming jaded, is through prayer. And not just a prayer for yourself, but also, and especially, for the people who have harmed you.
I’ll admit, forgiveness is a hard pill to swallow. Of course it’s easy to want and accept when you’re in the wrong, but it’s hard to dole out when you’ve been wronged.
Yet, in spite of this, Jesus asks us to love our enemies and actually pray for those who persecute us! Can you believe the nerve of such a request?!
Although it seems an audacious suggestion, Jesus followed it to a tee and even prayed for his enemies after being tortured by, and jeered at, by them. And then, from the depths of His despair and pain, He pleaded to God for their souls while dying on the cross. I can honestly say that, although I’ve been wronged, my pain is just a drop in the bucket comparatively.
So how DO you pray for your enemies? Well there’s lots of ways NOT to pray for those who have hurt you. You shouldn’t pray the “justice prayer,” which goes a little something like this: “I pray that so-and-so really gets what’s coming to them… and sooner than later would be nice!” That’s probably not the prayer Jesus had in mind.
Rather, God asks that you pray for their soul. You pray for their comfort and peace. You pray they can find Jesus in their own lives. Because, if they do, if they accept Jesus into their hearts and lives, then most likely whatever they are doing to hurt you and others, will take care of itself.
Jesus has a funny way of changing people for the better.