Have you ever felt persecuted? I’ve felt a little picked on this week for things like my faith and our family’s decision to homeschool. I admit that I don’t have thick skin, at all, which is why I generally avoid like the plague anything remotely smacking of confrontation or debate.
I also have this annoying tendency to dwell on perceived attacks, real or imagined. And, by dwell on, I mean play the event over and over in my head for days.
I was dwelling on one such event that felt like an unwarranted personal attack earlier this week when God placed some verses on my heart:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:11-12
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” – Matthew 5:44
So, I decided that, rather than indulging on my tendency to dwell, I would pray for my “persecutors” every time the situation came to my mind.
I prayed for them a lot for a couple of days.
And, I honestly believe that this was a much better use of my time than dwelling because the truth is, if I believe what I say I do (and I do), then there is more at stake here than just a difference of opinion and my hurt feelings. Someone’s eternity is at stake. And, it occurred to me that maybe that was at least a little bit of why this situation was on my mind so much – because the Holy Spirit was reminding me that I needed to pray.
I’ve often wished that I wasn’t so thin-skinned, that I didn’t let little things bother me like I often do. However, maybe I shouldn’t see it as being thin-skinned, but rather being sensitive, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if what I was being sensitive to was the prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray for the salvation of those who don’t know Christ.
Intercessory prayer warrior sounds a lot better than whiny girl who gets her feelings hurt too easily, don’t you think?