Proverbs 24: 17-18 “Do not celebrate when your enemies fall, and do not rejoice when they trip up; or else the Eternal will know and be upset with you, and He will release them from His anger (VOICE).”
This has been heavy on my heart lately, especially since the division in this country has become a somewhat “us” vs. “them” mentality. It doesn’t matter the source of our “Breaking News”, the reports are always so negative regarding the “other” side and it seems to be the reporter’s joy to point out how “so & so will pay”. Yet, it doesn’t seem like payback is swift in coming.
Could it be that the payback some so dearly hope for isn’t coming because many are gloating over the falling and tripping up of the “other side”? Who are we to think we are so far above the mishaps, mistakes and misfortunes of those we don’t agree with that we dare to gloat and rejoice in their failings? Does it not rain on the just and the unjust alike? Does the sun not shine on both as well?
Each one of us is not exempt, we are someone’s enemy whether we realize it or not. Yet, Jesus does not tell us to come against against our enemies, He tells us to love them (Matthew 5: 43-45). And this is not really a New Testament theme, Leviticus 19:18 also mentions something similar “Do not seek revenge or hold a grudge against any of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as you love yourself, for I am the Eternal One (VOICE).”
Freedom and liberty are not found in hating those who think differently, act like they think, and attack before thinking, nor will that kind of hate bring about changes of thought. Freedom and liberty happen in the lives of our enemies when love invades hate and we love them for who they are as people.
Our fight is not against people, it never was. Our fight is against the spiritual forces at work and we, now more than ever, need greater discernment and an even greater outpouring of LOVE. Ephesians 6: 12 “We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places (VOICE).”
I encourage you to change the way you pray for the supposed “other side”. Please, no more hate and condemnation prayers, no more calling down the wrath of God upon them, no more hoping to see them fall. God delights in mercy over judgment (James 2:13). Instead pray:
1.) For the tender mercies of God to pierce their heart
2.) Pray for a greater capacity to love
3.) For them to have a greater capacity to receive love
4.) For the Holy Spirit to have freedom to do whatever is needed in their lives
5.) For you to be quick to listen and slow to speak
6.) For compassion and passion on all “sides”
Let us be a people who loves people the way Papa loves people.
Matthew 5: 43-45 “You have been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy.But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you— in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us—good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner (Voice).
Galatians 5:13-15 “Brothers and sisters, God has called you to freedom! Hear the call, and do not spoil this gift by using your liberty to engage in what your flesh desires; instead, use it to serve each other as Jesus taught through love. For the whole law comes down to this one instruction: “Love your neighbor as yourself,”so why all this vicious gnawing on each other? If you are not careful, you will find you’ve eaten each other alive (VOICE)!
James 2: 13 “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (NKJV).
1 John 4:7-8 “My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (VOICE).”