43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So what exactly does this mean? I can tell you what it means to me and where it takes me.
It takes me to Sunday July 24th, 9:00am at North Point Community Church 4 rows from the stage. It is there I will sit and hear a message that I have heard before, but I will hear it in a different way this time. This time I will listen. I will hear ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ and what that means to me is, love your mother in spite of everything she has done. Forgive your mother for all of the pain she has put you through. Show her God’s love even when it hurts and seems unbearable.
Why should I do this? Why should I let go of the hate and tools I use to hurt her? Why can’t I live my life thinking that my excuses for this hatred are valid? It hasn’t hurt anybody. Or least I tell myself that.
But I will tell you who it’s hurting. It’s my husband, it’s hurting my children, it’s hurting the middle school girls that I lead and it’s hurting my relationship with Christ.
I can’t show Ben the confidence in myself that he needs to see when it comes to raising our children together.
I can’t effectively be a good mom and show my daughters how to love Christ and love their mother unless I live by example. I can’t show them how to be good moms for their future children.
I can’t talk to my Transit girls about the relationships with their mothers unless I fix mine and have a healthy balance of relationships and boundaries.
I can’t give every area to Christ except my relationship with my mom. I’m a hypocrite.
So how will this message on this particular Sunday be any different than hearing it in Sundays past? I will stop feeding myself lies that the relationship can’t be fixed. I will stop feeling entitled to my hatred and anger towards her. I will stop using my children as a tool to hurt my mom. I will start writing her, sending her pictures of her grandchildren and show her the love of Christ through my actions towards her.
Will this be easy? Of course not.
Thanks for your openness and for sharing your journey. Those are definitely very challenging versus.
Thanks, Karen. I read this verse daily in hopes it will plant itself deep in my heart.
We, your church, are with you! Thanks for sharing how God is using North Point not just to lead you into a more intimate relationship with Himself, but also to show His love and a better way of life to your Ben, your kids and the middle school girls you lead. You may never know on this side of eternity how God will use this, but trust me, HE WILL…even if you don’t see it.
It’s an honor for me to partner with such incredible people like you at North Point. Press on!!
Thanks for reading, Joel. I have been transformed by the teachings of North Point and am excited for God to continue to work on my heart.
What an inspiring response. Thank you for sharing your heart. It hits home for a lot of people, myself included.
Thanks for reading! This was definitely tough to publish but I’m glad I did. I hope to read this again in the future and see exactly how far God has taken me.
Wow! Great and excellent post – God will bless and HEAL you more than you’ll ever know…. and touch you in other areas of your spiritual journey with the Lord. Praying for you! Love you.
Hi, Pops. 🙂 Love you. Always.
Wow . . . we have a very similar story and a very similar outlook on what we need to do in order to protect those closest to us. I just blogged myself about the same subject matter. I used a few ugly words in my post. Thanks for sharing. Check out my post to see where we are on a similar journey. Hope to see you around one Sunday morning.
Thanks for reading and sharing. We live at NP on Sundays so I’m sure we will run in to each other!
Thank you for your openness and honesty. It is hard enough being honest with ourselves, but putting it out for others to learn from takes courage. Thank you for your testimony.
Thanks for the kind words. I hope to document the healing and transformation that is done in my heart.
I’m late to the party, but I just want to say that I know it took a lot of courage to write that. And you know what, this is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength.
Healing is nigh. I know that you know that. Praying for you friend.
Kim, I just stumbled across this tonight. I can tell you first hand you have not hurt your kids with any of your emotions or thoughts. You are an incredible mom, and Jackson is a tru joy because of you and Ben. I look forward to seeing all of you every Sunday. Thanks for sharing your courage.
How great it was to read this comment, read the post again and see how far I’ve come. Thank you for all you do! Jackson adores you.