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Loving my enemies up close

by Bruno Deshayes on 17 Mar 2016 permalink
I thought I was doing fine loving my enemies from a distance. Then it occurred to me I had also to love them up close as well.

I had forgiven my ex-wife for breaking her marriage vows and I assumed the matter was closed and it was all water under the bridge. Well not quite. The litmus test was when I was asked to perform my father's duties at my daughter's wedding. I declined with the lame excuse that it would be a parody of the institution of marriage. To witness my daughter's vows with the presence of the one who broke her marriage vows with me and had replaced me with another man even though I am still alive was more than I could bear.

This was all playing in my mind six months before the due date. All sorts of emotions battled in my head so much so that I could not put the matter to rest.

Forgiving is not a feeling - it is a deliberate choice of the heart. It does not make any sense as you try to reason out your self-interest. The circuit breaker for me was when I was convicted of harbouring a root of bitterness. I suffered a compound trauma when I lost my business, my house, my marriage and my children all within one year. Emotionally I had to disconnect all those issues. If I had been the perfect husband I suppose my wife would have had no reason to leave. So there were faults on both sides.

I assumed that if we paid our tithes regularly we would be shielded from financial hardship. It wasn't to be so. I assumed that if I delivered the best product I could engineer God would take care of the marketing for me. It wasn't to be so. I assumed that if we gave our children a Christian education they would not rebel against their parents. Sweet illusion...

If truly I am a survivor of chronic unemployment, divorce and homelessness then I have to behave in a way where those hardships do not block the love of Christ flowing out through me.

I suddenly realised my bitterness regarding the raw deal I got out of life betrayed my Christian witness. I promptly picked up the phone and announced to my daughter that I would attend her wedding, walk down the aisle with her and deliver a speech. What a watershed moment! It was not about my misguided feelings. No, it was all about my daughter's big day and I wanted to make sure I wasn't the one to spoil it.

Adrian McCabe says:
Thank you Bruno, what a great blog from the heart, and challenging to us to love without conditions. God bless, Adrian

Robert Walker says:
Bruno, thanks for being so open. Your story and decisions are very inspiring and encouraging for my walk with Jesus.

Peter DUNN says:
A great bit of sharing to go on your blog, Bruno. Thank you for passing it on. Yes, 2 Cor 1:3-7 confirms it, also 3 John 2. Love always in Jesus. Peter

Chris Harvey says:
This is great stuff. This story of yours was very personal and redemptive. If your can blog your journey as you have here, many will be encouraged



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Bruno Deshayes

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