Tuesday, July 05, 2005

How to Love Your Enemies (even if you can't stand them!)

Here's a tip I learned long ago...and it works.

First, remember: the commandment is to love your neighbors (including your enemies). It doesn't demand that you like them!

So. About that SOB who is constantly telling you exactly what you're doing wrong with your life...or that total idiot who just cut you off in traffic...or that in-law who insists on telling you the proper way to raise your own children...or that [fill in the blank #*@(@*#&@ person]?

Here's what you want to do:

(I didn't make this up. A friend -- a holy person, actually -- clued me in on this one long ago.)

Pray for the creep.

(N.B. It's probably not a hot idea to use the word "creep" in your prayer.)

Here's a prayer I often use:

"Dear God, please put that so-and-so in a higher place than me in Your Heavenly Kingdom. Amen."

That's it!

I mean, think about it. By praying like this, you're doing yourself a favor (communication with God is always a good idea), your enemy a favor (look, you're basically asking God to make the SOB -- 'scuse me, person in question -- better than you are) and, again, yourself another favor.

If God hears your prayer (and you know He will) there's a good chance that this person who drives you bananas might turn around and become someone worthy of a high place in Heaven. Hey, the jerk might even become a friend!

Who's the loser here? Nobody! Unless you count the devil.