Matthew 5:44 – 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 despitefully use you and persecute you. (KJV)
These words are not new. Jesus spoke them first and we have all heard them many, many times. But putting them to practice is quite another thing.
A businessperson with whom I was dealing became enraged and started cursing and hollering when I stated that I did not wish to continue to do business with them, since they were demanding money for work not done. My better judgement suggested I pay the person off and be rid of them. Now normally, I would have been sent into a tailspin, shaking and sputtering and reacting to the situation. I know for sure, I would have felt that certain anger which seems to simmer beneath our very being when we let someone "get to us".
Focusing on what I've learned in Contemplative Prayer and "Choice Theory", it was surprisingly easy to remain calm, to remind myself that the person in question really needed a lot of love and understanding, and to ask that God would give it to them.
No miracles were performed and the businessperson was still angry, but this time, I did not fuel the fire and make a bad situation worse.
We cannot change others. We can only change ourselves and pray that change will come into others' lives. It may not always be easy, but with God, it is possible.
Prayer: We thank you, Lord, for your strength, when without you, we would be weak. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.