As I sat in preparation for this weeks blog I thought to my self, what can I say to those who read that will make an impact that may help them in their lives, and what can I study for myself that I too will grow and be better and strengthen. I watched last night an episode on CNN called finding Christ. This episode discussed Judas and his betrayal to the Lord, but it also brought note of the great love Christ had for Judas even in knowing that he was betrayed. It made me think of when Christ was on the cross. There were many who treated him so badly, and his heart and mind as well as his body must have surely been hurt to the point of unbearable grief, yet his prayer was forgive them father for they know not what they do. Is it not also true in our everyday lives, that there are many who know not what they do, for one can hardly know without a true testimony. Even those among us including ourselves, most likely know not what we do until a lesson is taught to us and we then gain a missing perspective. This thinking led me to View Matthew 5:
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitfully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"
So I asked myself, "who are mine enemies?" and I knew immediately who they were for I have struggled with them greatly.
I don't hate my enemies on the contrary I love them, very much so, yet I am afraid of them for the pain they cause me is unbearable. My enemies are someone I gave my heart to and trusted and accepted as my family, they are someone whom I loved and would do anything for; yet they curse me, and hate me, they lie about me and to me, they hurt my children and family, they make me feel like trash, and when they are near I am lowly to the point of physically keeping my head bowed while sitting in a corner, and I, I am afraid of them. Even at my age of 49 I feel as if I am being bullied and backed into a corner. Yet my prayers are for them, they are for us both. I wish them no harm and truly pray for their needs yet I can't talk to them and be around them so I asked myself, " am I truly loving my enemies?"
I read in 1 Samuel 25, where David demonstrated that he would be kind to Saul, who had tried to kill him then later David and his men asked for some supplies from a man named Nabal; Nabal treated them rudely. In response, David and his men prepared to attack. Nabal’s wife, Abigail, heard about what was happening and acted wisely to keep David from attacking and killing her husband. In the process, David realized his revengeful actions were not right. A short time later, Nabal died and the problem was solved anyway. After Nabal’s death, David married Abigail as one of his wives.
Then I was listening to a conference talk by Howard W Hunter where he said: “How are we supposed to act when we are offended, misunderstood, unfairly or unkindly treated, or sinned against? What are we supposed to do if we are hurt by those we love, or are passed over for promotion, or are falsely accused, or have our motives unfairly assailed?“Do we fight back? Do we send an ever-larger battalion? Do we revert to an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, or … do we come to the realization that this finally leaves us blind and toothless?” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 23; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 18).
After reading these I realized that I was not so bad, I wished them no harm, I do them no wrong, If they call or need me I am there, and I say nothing about the hurt, pan and anguish. When I have to see them or they are in need of my help, I always hope that this is the time when things shall pass and we can once again be family. So yes I say that I do love my enemies but am I wrong because I can't be around them, because I don't call them or visit them, as when I do things go south in a hurry; so I further studied.
I decided to visit the church website lds.org, and I put in the search engine Bullying. I did this because I do feel, even at my age, that I have been bullied and it does continue on certain levels. I have been a victim of bullying since grade school so I am no newcomer to it and the feelings are the same, so I thought there might be some insight with this search. What I found made me know that the spirit does work and talk to us in all answers we desire.
The article I read had advice on what to do if your being bullied, and though geared for youth I felt it was most important in adult life too. It says, "if your being bullied to try to appear calm and confident. Try not to react, because a reaction is what most bullies are hoping for. First try to simply walk away. To walk away from trouble is not a sign of weakness." By this I felt that I am not wrong in staying away, I am simply avoiding explosive, hurtful situations that can cause more trouble. When needed I am there and act in a loving Christlike manner to the best of my ability, but I try to avoid all situations that have the potential to be bad. So in this sense I feel that yes I do love my enemies but can I do better? The next section I read answered my question.
Forgiving a bully does not mean thinking that what he or she did was okay. Nor does it mean you shouldn’t stick up for yourself or that you should pretend the bullying never happened. Forgiving does mean letting go of feelings of bitterness and anger—feelings that will damage you far more than they will affect the bully. The Lord said, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10).
And so I had my answer. I need to let go of the hurt and pain, that's where my fault lies. The bitterness at what was done to me and still continues to be done to me is so hurtful and I've held onto that hurt for far too long. If I am truly going to follow Christ as I wish to do, then I must let it go and Let God.......
I must rely on the Savior. His love, and the knowledge that I am a child of Heavenly Father, is my greatest source of self-worth. The Savior knows what it’s like to be beaten and spit upon, but He never forgot who He is—the Son of God. Because of the Atonement, He understands perfectly the hurt I feel, and He can heal me. And now my prayers will indeed be for that healing.
Not only though, will my prayers be for my own healing but they will be also for my enemies healing and for me to be a better Christian. It will be my prayer that I will hopefully never hurt anyone as I have been hurt and that I will be more mindful of myself while working and living in the world in terms of how I act, what I say and what I do. We are in the last days after all, and satan is at his best; it is my prayer that we lean not to his cunning ways.
“It should come as no surprise that one of the adversary’s tactics in the latter days is stirring up hatred among the children of men. He loves to see us criticize each other, make fun or take advantage of our neighbor’s known flaws, and generally pick on each other. …
“When we truly become converted to Jesus Christ, committed to Him, an interesting thing happens: our attention turns to the welfare of our fellow-man, and the way we treat others becomes increasingly filled with patience, kindness, a gentle acceptance, and a desire to play a positive role in their lives.” —Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94), of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign , May 1992, 19, 20.
Today my new leaf turns and my prayers being for healing, and as I heal I hope they too will heal. For you my friends that are reading, I wish you the same, rely on the savior for all your needs. Let us strive daily to become more like our Savior. Just imagine what the world will be like when we all do.....