One of the highlights of my week is the ladies Bible study I attend every Tuesday morning. Many months ago we were studying the book of Esther. Chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Adriana, our English church Pastor’s wife and leader mentioned something that has stuck with me ever since, and that is how easy it is to be hard on Haman. For good reason though…right? He was horrible in his thoughts and motives and his plans. Yet, if we think about it, how many times are we just like him? What can we possibly learn from his story?
Esther 5:12-13 Then Haman added, “And that’s not all! Queen Esther invited only me and the king himself to the banquet she prepared for us. And she has invited me to dine with her and the kind tomorrow!” Then he added, “But all this is all worth nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting there at the palace gate.”
I am sure all of us have people in our lives, or perhaps we would even call them enemies that have wounded us in some way or another. Maybe there are people who have a personality that just rubs us the wrong way or grates on our nerves. We may cringe inwardly at the mention of their name, get knots in the stomach or feel the familiar pang from the hurts of the past. Maybe we walk the other way when we see them coming down the street, or duck into a store in the mall. Maybe we have gone as far as blocking them on social media. Perhaps we feel irritated or resentful if we see or hear about something good happening to them. Maybe we feel jealous.
An enemy is someone who’s story you have not heard…Pastor John Carrette
The thing is everyone has a story. There is a reason why people behave the way they do. I am sure all of us have heard the popular saying, ‘hurt people hurt people’…and I believe that to be so true. We don’t know everyone’s story, what they are going through. We don’t know the condition of their heart, their past, or what walls they’ve built around it to protect themselves. We don’t know their emotional state, what things they are battling. The Bible tells us to love our enemies. That’s so hard to do isn´t it?
Luke 6:35-36 Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will be truly acting as children of the most high, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your father is compassionate.
The Bible talks about reconciliation and living in harmony with each other.
Matthew 5:23, 24 So then, if you are presenting a gift before the altar in the temple and suddenly you remember a quarrel you have with a fellow believer leave the gift right there in front of the altar and go at once to apologize with the one who is offended. Then, after you have reconciled, come to the altar and present your gift.
I remember hearing a true story years ago. A couple had come to our church and were guests speakers. They spoke of how their marriage had been restored after the husband had an affair. I remember her telling how she used to pray for the other woman. She would pray things like “Bless her with a new dress Lord.” Can you imagine? And she told how praying for her helped bring healing to her heart and enabled her to forgive, even though it was difficult. I can’t even fathom that…and yet is biblical.
Matthew 5:44 TPT But I say, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.
Oh that we not be like Haman, harbouring resentment and hatred in our hearts. It will destroy us, just like in the end, it was Haman’s demise. May we learn to love and forgive, even though it’s hard, even if we think we can’t possibly do it.
Romans 12:17-18 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.