Matthew 5:44 is hard.

I’m working on praying for people I don’t like and, especially, those I know don’t like me. It’s been a really big challenge for me. At first, it was like I had my mama standing over my shoulder telling me to “say something nice.” At least, in prayer, I’ve come to realize God knows my heart and sometimes I just have to put out there what I can.  I can’t pretend it’s with a joyful heart if it’s not. Prayer isn’t “fake it ’til you make it” business.

I’ve found a big theme for me has been to just pray that these people are overwhelmed with the experience of Jesus this week (or that day). I don’t have to say I like them, or expect that we will ever get along, but it’s one way of loving them. I hope they’re praying the same thing for me.

I’m also working on trying not to characterize people by what they do, but to view it as being caught in sinful habits. I have my own, for sure.

It’s all a work in progress, but I guess that’s kind of the point.

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