Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Do I Really HAVE to Love my Enemies?

on September 25, 2013


I made an enemy last week. I didn’t mean to, want to, or try to, but none the less we are now mortal foes. I still stand behind the actions that I took; I know I was in the right, but I HATE when people don’t like me. It is one of my personal flaws: I try to please everyone and make friends with everyone. I try to assume the best intentions of others and am usually the peace maker in a hostile situation. And of course I still mainly handle strife as a Passive – Aggressive Queen.

But not when it comes to 3 things: my family, my faith and my students.

So I accept this enemy and plan on killing her with kindness.

Yep – that is my strategic battle plan and I am confident that it will work because it has worked for me in previous skirmishes.

I learned the power of this plan 3 years ago when I faced another adversary. This opponent was confusing, conceited and cantankerous! Worst of all, he was my supervisor at the time and kept making decisions for teachers that were ridiculous.

On one particular occasion he made an announcement about how the English teachers needed to assign a standard to each and every question in a test bank containing over 20,000 questions. My fellow teachers all looked at each other frantically, like – DO SOMETHING! So as the English Department Chair I politely tried to point out that the task he was assigning was a phenomenal undertaking and was actually unnecessary for several reasons that I pointed out. He turned and snarled at me, “Ms. D- you presume to speak on a subject of which you know naught about”. The entire room gasped, because basically he had called me stupid. Apparently my 15 years of teaching didn’t count for anything. I sat down and glared, mulling over how I could passively aggressively get back at him… eventually.

mercy on your soul

This situation and others caused me to practically loathe this supervisor. In fact I was becoming almost obsessed with my anger towards him. He had become my nemesis. These feelings of venom were beginning to consume me and a very wise mentor of mine started to notice. She warned me that my animosity was hurting me WAY more than it was affecting him. Then she told me what she did when working with difficult people.

She prayed for wonderful things to happen to them.

At first I tried to argue with her. I countered with a wink, “You mean you pray for them to fall down stairs or to get a really bad ingrown toe nail, right????”

She stayed firm and insisted that she prayed only for blessings and good things to happen to them and for them.

I was not convinced. It took me awhile to follow this advice, but eventually I saw that I was becoming poisoned by my feelings. Finally, I begrudgingly prayed.

I prayed for him to be successful. I prayed for him to be at peace. I prayed for his health. I prayed for him to make friends (not surprisingly he didn’t have many). I prayed for him to win the lottery (hey- if he did then he would leave my work!). I prayed for weeks and a miracle occurred.

No- he didn’t win the lottery. Instead I was freed. I was no longer consumed by him or by anger. I was more at peace than I had been in months. I was able to enjoy my job once again and let his continued shenanigans roll right of my shoulders.

The rest of the school year passed and I was able to focus on positive things and was no longer controlled by rage.

In the end I won that war for several reasons:

1. I knew I was right- he even had to admit it at a later meeting.
2. I stopped giving him the power to affect me.
3. I behaved in a way that stayed true to my professed Christian beliefs.

AND THEN at the end of the school year a true miracle occurred.

                   He got promoted…

                                     in another school district…

                                                                             located 8 hours away from me

So this new enemy doesn’t stand a chance. I am going to pray her straight into a happy retirement.

In Jesus’ name,

One response to “Do I Really HAVE to Love my Enemies?

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