“Blessed are the merciful, for mercy shall be theirs”. (Matthew 5:7)
Love and pray for your enemies.(Matthew 5:44)
Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Where does trust come into the picture?
In Psalm 118:8 we learn the following:
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. “
The word trust means….to rely on. Are we supposed to rely on our enemies? I think not. However, we are to forgive them and treat them with love.
To forgive means…to cancel a debt. This is not the same as trust. We are also told to pray for our enemies. This means we don’t curse them or wish evil on them. We ask God to guide them (and us).
It is easier to forgive a person who has asked for forgiveness; however it is also important to forgive someone who has not asked us for forgiveness. This means we put the matter in God’s hands and we trust God.
“Hate the sin not the sinner.”
(Quote of St. Augustine)
This is how we can make a judgment against certain behaviors, without condemning the sinner. Only God knows a person’s heart. Perhaps the person has repented. By praying for someone who has wronged us, we release resentment and increase the love in our lives.
God is love. We need to rely on God (trust Him) to guide us through the emotional journey of forgiving our enemies. We trust God that in the end justice will be His.
Loving our enemies means to treat those who have wronged us with love and mercy. However, it is God alone we rely on. It is through prayer that we are led by God. Turning the other cheek simply means we don’t fight back. We don’t seek revenge. We actually pray for the welfare of the person who has wronged us.
Love and forgiveness go together. However, trust is connected to wisdom and understanding. Through prayer God leads us in wisdom, helping us to understand and discern who we should or should not trust.
Wisdom is turning to God for guidance. When we lack wisdom we should seek it (James 1:5)
It is only through praying that we can be led to the will of God. If we pray without ceasing, we will have the prudence to do God’s will.