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This may come as a surprise, and then maybe not. Because I’m convinced most of you will identify with the following sentiments, except those that are perfectly holy!

Sometimes, I pray that my enemies will die! Often, I wish they will be put to shame in a way that I prescribe, and that their evil wishes concerning me will come to nought. And I’d like to see their disappointed faces as a table is prepared before me.

But then I realize I’m the first one on the list! I am my worst enemy. Then my heart begins to soften with compassion and mercy.

I ran to My Father in heaven asking for mercy . . . .

pleading for Him to continuously create in me a clean heart,

a heart that will truly embrace what He has said to me,

To love my enemies,

bless those who curse me,

do good to those who hate me,

and pray for those who spitefully use me and persecute me . . .

When I fight back in contention,

I remember with gratitude, “Forgive us our trespasses”, and the part that suddenly makes sense to me . . . “as we forgive those that trespass against us.”

Then I concede in the pool of willful forgiveness

an act of contrition,

so is my journey of knowing my enemies . . .

of knowing myself!