Shifting focus from yourself to someone else can bring about unexpected healing.
Posted in , Feb 25, 2020
Not long ago a trusted friend said some very unkind things to me. She was suffering physically and struggling emotionally. So, although I wanted to scream, "How can you treat me this way?" I also understood there were extenuating circumstances. But wow, I felt abused.
Fortunately, holidays intervened, and we didn't see each other for a couple of weeks. My rawest emotions subsided, though I remained hurt. She didn't apologize, and in fact seemed unaware she had done any harm. Before saying anything to her about it, I decided to pray. I find that when someone hurts me, they feel like an enemy even if they are someone I love. Jesus had good advice on that: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
Jesus didn't say to pray about our enemies, but to pray for them. My take on that is that we're meant to pray for their good. Haltingly at first, I prayed blessings upon my friend each morning for a week. I asked God to shower her with the grace she needs to grow in love of Him. I asked Him to fill her with the Holy Spirit and guide her into all truth. I asked Him to open her heart to being His servant.
I do not know the details of how those prayers played out in my friend's life, but I do know how they affected mine. As I centered my prayers on what was good for my friend's soul, my heart shifted to a better place. By the time we met up again my temporary wounds were less important to me than how she was doing—and how to resume our friendship.