Today you have proclaimed the Lord to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice. (Deuteronomy 26:17)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
Have you heard the proverb above? What do you feel when you have to proclaim that for yourself and your heavenly Father?
In many occasions along my life, I have spent much time to keep anger and grudge to other people. I may not be aware of it, but when that particular person hurt me again, even for the smallest fault, his/her former faults came up like a blast. That’s when I realize that I haven’t forgiven that person completely.
I need years to realize that when I said to someone “I forgive you”, I often didn’t forgive with all my heart. I still kept some of the grudge, anger, and hurt inside my heart, buried it with a false understanding, pretended that I have completely forgiven him/her. My transformation in forgiving didn’t come instantly. It did not happened like St Paul’s repentance. My transformation happened slowly and quietly. I was allowed to go through much heartbreak, disappointment, anger, etc until I realized that I forgive them not for their deeds, but mine.
I read a very beautiful quote few years ago by Lewis B. Smedes, saying, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” As I learn more about God and life, I have been gradually transformed into a better person. Although I still feel irritated by criticism, gossips, and other’s feeling about me, I am easier to forgive and let go the anger. As the result, I become more peaceful inside. People may see me as the same patient as before (but some of my friends do realize this change), but I feel more peaceful inside.
I think it’s the reason of God, our heavenly Father wants us to be perfect just like Thee. When we are perfect, we didn’t care much about what happened outside us. We have an ultimate inner peace that no one outside us have any authorities to disturb it, unless we let them to. I still learn and struggle to retain this inner peace, but I can tell you that when you have found it, you’ll realize that nothing is more important than to find it and have it inside.
Many of us confidently say that we are the children of God. Often people look at others with arrogance, just because they feel they’re more religious or holier than others. Now we should ask ourselves, “Have we acted as our Father? Have we glorify God’s name with our words and behaviour?” Be careful, being religious is not always mean we are living as God’s commandments. It needs much time to reflect and answer it honestly because only God and yourself know the true answer.
Today’s first reading tells us to obey God’s commandments, walking in His way, and keeping His statutes. Then in the gospel, Jesus reminds us what is God’s commandment? God wants us to be just like Him, to modelled Him. God wants us to love our enemy, to do good for those who hurt us. It’s clearly dissent with what the world “taught” us. Jesus said at the beginning of His speech: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy“. This sounds fair and make sense. It’s our right to dislike anyone who did wrong to us, that’s what we may think. Well, I can only urge this for the Christian, since we believe in the Holy Bible which taught us that we should love our enemies. For another believers, I can only recommend you to choose this act. If you have experienced forgiving and feel the unexplained peace, a kind of “released” feeling, then you should know that forgiving is very much better than revenging not only for others but moreover for ourselves.
My dear friends, have we show our heavenly Father’s love to others? What God wants is for us loving each other. I believe there’s no religion teaches the followers to hate each other, because anything comes from Thou are always good and loving, because God is loving. God is love.
May God grant us a new spirit everyday to love each other, to always be aware that forgiving is not for someone else; it’s for our own deeds. Have a more blessings, love, hope, and faith. God bless you 😁