Loving God More Than You Hate the Wrongdoer

i_love_you_moreContinued from here.

I have lived both the options of judgment and intercession. For decades, I lived in judgment against my childhood abusers and suffered in bondage to my bitterness. From 2013 through 2014, I prayed daily for my childhood abusers and gradually experienced healing and release from that bondage. I refuse ever to go back. I know the heavy price I have paid to live in unforgiveness, and I will never choose that path again. The cost is too high.

That’s not to say I don’t get tempted. I still do. For example, as a mother of a 17-year-old high school student, I was tempted just as much as everyone else in the country to think hateful thoughts about Nikolas Cruz. However, it all boils down to one question for me: Do I love God more than I hate the other person? If I do, I will obey God and pray for that person. And that is what I am doing – I am praying for Nikolas Cruz every morning, not because he deserves it but because I love God more than I am sickened by what he did. I refuse to sit in judgment on Nikolas Cruz, even though it is socially acceptable to do so, because I choose, instead, to intercede in prayer for him out of love for and obedience to God.

I am also mindful that I will be judged in the same way I judge others. And God does not judge based on the actions: he judges by the heart, which is a much higher standard. I know the evil thoughts I had toward my child abusers. I stand before the Father guilty of murder based on His standards. Thus, I am wise to heed His warning about not judging a school shooter when I, myself, am a mass murderer by God’s standards. As I judge Cruz, I will be judged. I choose God’s way.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace carrying a large heart that says, “I love you more.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]