The last few months of my life have been filled with some emotional drama. Conflict that I have had with trusted friends led to my heart being broken. In my brokenness, I wanted to give up. Everything. At times, even my life. Every day I would hound heaven with questions, trying to understand why I was so broken emotionally. I sought the Lord for His help and deliverance from this place of unrelenting sadness.
At some point in our lives, we may endure a “dark night of the soul” where despair tries to smother hope. In this place of confusion, our emotions tend to rule our spirit and we desperately cry out to God for deliverance. We search for the key that will lead to our freedom and deliverance, as we long for breakthrough. We want to get to the other side and for things to return to normal.
For me, freedom, deliverance, and breakthrough came from a surprising place. It didn’t come through someone sharing a Bible verse. It didn’t come through a prophetic word. It didn’t come through the comforting voice of God. My freedom came through obedience to a simple Bible verse.
Regarding conflict, Jesus gives us some instructions in Luke 6:27-28:
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
In my particular situation, I was trying my best to love the ones who hurt me. And I blessed them, which in Greek language, literally means to “speak well” of them. I recounted all of their great qualities to God. Then, I prayed for them. But this scripture also commands us to “do good to those who hate us.” Doing good is a tangible act of love. It’s not a thought or a desire or a prayer, it is an action.
I felt God tugging at my heart to “do good” to the person that hurt me. I resisted this, for I knew that “doing good” would cost me. It would nearly kill me to perform a tangible act of love for the one who had rejected me.
Holy Spirit prompted me to send them a gift card. I didn’t want to do good to them. Not. At. All. I resisted obeying for days. But finally, begrudgingly, I got on the internet and selected a gift card. I wanted to send the $25 one. Holy Spirit said it had to be the $50 one. A $50 gift card would really affect our budget, but I obeyed anyway. It was hard, but love prevailed.
I “did good” to the friend who hurt me deeply.
Later that day, I was walking around in Target. Pushing my cart, I knew that something was different. There was a lightness to my spirit. I no longer felt the sting of rejection. The cloud of confusion and depression had lifted. In place of pain and brokenness, there was a newfound peace and even joy. I had an amazing day.
And slowly, day by day, my broken heart has been healed. I can honestly say that now I’m doing really well.
What was the difference? Obedience. Obeying God’s commands delivered me from bondage, despair, and turmoil to a place of freedom, joy, and peace. “Doing good” to the one who hurt me transformed my situation. My newfound peace and freedom had come from a surprising place: a tangible act of love.
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18
What about you? Has God been asking you to do something good for someone who hates you, but you have resisted? I know that is hard, but loved one, obey. Your simple obedience is the key to your freedom.