My husband was a very successful businessman and always wanted to mentor others, showing them the steps to success. He was a true giver. But we all know people who tend to overstep the boundaries, taking someone’s kindness and using it for their own gain. My husband had one such particular colleague. He started treating my husband terribly, stealing and poisoning my husband’s clients against him. At one point, after a business dispute, he even threatened our family’s lives. For a time, we lived in fear. I developed such a hatred toward this man that I found myself wishing him dead. But God led me to Matthew 6:14-15. He said that I had to forgive my enemies. What?! How could I forgive a man that has taken advantage of my husband and threatened my family? He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness, and he’s never apologized to me. So why should I show him any mercy? Then God reminded me, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” Who was I to judge? Despite my stubbornness, I begged God to make me willing. So, every time I thought of this man, I mumbled, “I hate him, God. But forgive me and bless him.” I did this everyday regardless of how I felt about him. Eight months later, I was driving down the road, and felt something overwhelm me to tears. It was God filling me with love and forgiveness for this man. You cannot give what you have not received. Yet, we’ve all received forgiveness from our Heavenly Father. Is it not our duty to forgive others as He has forgiven us? It’s easy to love our neighbor and hate our enemies, but God tells us to love and pray for our enemies. Shortly after I forgave this man, he was diagnosed with cancer. On his deathbed, not only did we reconcile, but He also gave his heart to Christ. If we don’t have love, we are nothing. Love keeps no record of wrongs. I often share how God opened my eyes to true forgiveness and I encourage others to pray, “Make me willing.” God hears that prayer, and only He can turn the deepest, darkest hatred into the purest love.
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