Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 118:1 NASB
Similar to a coin, we all have two sides. One side responds quickly, judges easily and returns hurt for hurt and pain for pain. This is the side of the flesh. The other side takes time to respond, sees deep in to the heart of the person who inflicted the pain and prays. This is the side of the Spirit.
As a teacher, I once received an email that was not so pleasant. This parent took time to attack me on not only one issue, but also on several issues which he had been hiding in his arsenal since the beginning of the year. The heart of the matter was that this child did not receive an accolade the parent thought the child deserved. I knew I could not change the situation, because this child did not outshine the rest of the children I taught. I knew I could not satisfy this parent with my own words. I forwarded the email to my administrator and I went home crushed. Crushed because I had poured a lot of time and love into teaching these students, and crushed because the words hurt!
Jesus says to, “Love our enemies” (Luke 6:27). In the heat of the moment, when our emotions are high, this is difficult. How do you pray for someone who has attacked you in your profession and as a person in general? My kindness had run out.
I could have responded in the flesh – continuing to feel crushed and retaliating with harsh words, which I felt would have fit the situation perfectly. However, I chose to respond by listening to the Spirit. I asked God to give me His 20/20 Heart Vision. God’s everlasting kindness is a result of His 20/20 Heart Vision. I chose to see the situation from His infinite perspective – not with my finite eyes.
I fought hard through my emotions with the truth of Scripture.
Through God’s Word, my perspective slowly began to change. I went through a few emotions: crushed, angry and finally sorrowful. From my time in God’s Word and with much prayer, I began to see the hurt and emptiness from which the words came. My prayers suddenly became focused and intense, as a result of His 20/20 Heart Vision. I realized this parent needed what I have – the forgiveness and love of a mighty Savior. A God who loved me so much that He sent His son to die for me. (John 3:16)
The next morning I put on my pretty purple dress (the royal color of my King) and I walked into my classroom with confidence from the 20/20 vision God gave to my heart and I prayed. With a fullness of God’s love and His loving kindness I prayed, not only for this child, but for all of them.
The next time you face adversity, maybe God is calling you to see from His 20/20 Heart Vision:
Dear Lord, I praise You for Your 20/20 Heart Vision which results in Your everlasting kindness. Thank You for helping me see past the hurt and into the heart. Thank You for the sacrifice You made for me on the cross. May I help others see You as I act in the Spirit with everlasting kindness. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.