Daily Devotion Jan 26, 2024

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’   But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44, NIV).

     I had a rather upsetting experience last year. My Facebook page was hacked. My son-in-law had received a friend request from a rather salacious source. My technologically savvy wife quickly helped me remove the nefarious culprit from my account. I soon forwarded a word of apology to all of my Facebook friends for any distress the matter may have caused.

     Yet, though the technological problem was resolved, my feelings were not. I was angry with the person who infiltrated my private space and posted material of which I would never approve. Hours passed as I replayed the incident over and again in my mind imagining what I would say to my adversary was I to have the chance.

     Then, all of a sudden these words came to me. “Forgive your enemy, David.” I can assure you that forgiving this individual was the last thing I wanted to do.

     However, a thought came to me. Just as the hacker found his way into the privacy of my Facebook account, I had also allowed this person to trespass in my head. And the only person whom I was making miserable was me. God was asking me to forgive for my sake, as much as for the sake of my enemy.

     So, once again, I unfriended my hacker this time from my mind and heart rather than my Facebook account. I found no good reason to allow my foe to keep taking my peace and joy as he had taken over my personal space. I may have been victimized but forgiveness has prevented me from remaining a victim.

Lord God, help me when I sense a wave of aggravation wash over me. May your Holy Spirit provide me with the fruit of self-control. Likewise, grant me the gift of your grace to forgive those who harm me with the same love by which you have forgiven me. Through Christ’s name I pray. Amen.