The Language of Promise by Graham Cooke ~ Study Week 9

Graham Cooke: Pgs. 20-25

LOVE YOUR ENEMY

Christians are so quick to demonize other believers; unfortunately,
I have witnessed many examples of this fact. I remember
talking with a well-known church leader whose associate
pastor, after many years, had left and started another church
five miles down the road.

“I discipled this guy for fifteen years and he went and left
me!” the leader told me. “He’s got an Absalom spirit!”
“What does that look like? “ I asked.
“You know, Absalom. He’s a traitor,” the leader replied. “He’s
taken what is mine and seized it for himself.”
I was surprised by the conversation. “I know that man,” I
said. “And the truth is that he can only be an Absalom if you
have been a David. If you have been fatherly to him, kingly,
looked after him, loved him, and wanted only to
see him succeed, then, yes, he is an Absalom.
But if you haven’t done that, he can’t be an
Absalom.”

After a few moments of silence, I continued on. “You know
what, he might be a Jacob and you might be a Laban. Did you
ever think about that? It works both ways.”
He frowned at me, but I pressed ahead. “You’re not seeing
things clearly,” I said. “Maybe you have forgotten all of the years
that he served you. Maybe you have forgotten his faithfulness,
like the time the church was having financial troubles and he
took a pay cut so you wouldn’t have to. Maybe you have forgotten
to see what God has put inside of him. Maybe he just feels
that he has only one life and he needs to live it. You got so used
to him serving you that you forgot to serve him. You’re a good
man, and you can see this for yourself. In your heart, you are
a father, and you’ve just missed that point for a few moments.

“HATRED PARALYZES LIFE; LOVE
RELEASES IT. HATRED CONFUSES
LIFE; LOVE HARMONIZES IT. HATRED
DARKENS LIFE; LOVE ILLUMINES IT.”
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR

Why don’t you go down the road and say to him, ‘How can I help
you be successful?’ You could lend him some of your people for
a while, or see if he is okay financially.
You might want to get behind him on some evangelistic
initiatives just to bless him. Maybe you could just let him know
that, even though he has a problem or two, you see the good
in him. Knowing you, you’ll probably want to do all of this and
more, because you are a godly guy.”
The leader paused and looked at me. “Do you want a coffee?”
he asked. I got the message: Subject closed.
Some time later, the former associate called me and told
me that he and the leader had gotten together for coffee. He
had apologized and had begun paying half of the man’s salary,
and sent teams to help him with the church plant.
“What happened?” the former associate asked me, completely
bewildered.
“I think he just saw the treasure in you, because God showed
him the treasure inside of himself,” I answered.

YOU SEE

I see a mountain, you see a miracle
I see a wasteland, you see a garden
I see dry bones, you see an army
I see the impossible, you see everything
I see a seed, you see a harvest
I see the water, you see the wine
I see the broken, you see your body
I see my enemy, you see your footstool.
You are, I am
But I’ve been so blind, all this time
My God, touch me
I want to see the way that you see
I see my sins, you see your blood
I see a baby, you see my saviour
I see my failures, you see redemption
I see a beggar, you see a son
I see a problem, you see a provision
I see a crisis, you see an opportunity
I see the image, you see the heart
I see opposition, you see someone to love
You are, I am
But I’ve been so blind, all this time
My God, touch me
I want to see the way that you see
I see the weary, you see the warriors
I see the restless, you see their peace
I see the doubting, you see their faith
I see the weak, you see their strength
I see my Father, you see your son
I see my Shepherd, you see your lamb
I see my Saviour, you see your joy
I see your eyes, staring into mine
You are, I am
But I’ve been so blind, all this time
My God, touch me
I want to see the way that you see
Inspired by the lyrics of Jonathan Helser—
a songwriter, worshiper, catalyst and a man after
God’s own heart.

Inspired by the lyrics of Jonathan Helser—
a songwriter, worshiper, catalyst and a man after
God’s own heart.

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