As I crossed over into the supermarket parking lot, I thought with annoyance how people do this sort of thing. They are always bothering people and getting on the nerves of others. As I walked and thought, my frown began to smooth out, and I thought that God can help him. I silently rebuked myself for my train of thought. Don't hate, just pray I told myself. God knows why he's doing what he's doing. God knows what he needs that is beyond what he's doing. I began to pray for him as I approached the glass doors of the store.
Don't hate, just pray is not about being jealous of the possessions, blessings or traits of someone else. It's about re-directing our train of thought from being angry at the activities of others, to feeling compassion for them, and then praying a heartfelt prayer on their behalf. We can hate what they do, but it's more beneficial, for us and them, to arrest our train of thought from hating the person.
We don't like it when we are approached by certain types of characters. We don't want to rub shoulders with certain types of people. When we encounter this, our thoughts can rapidly degrade, and become useless, if we are not aware of it.
When I left the store the 'fella was still loafing outside the convenience store. He yelled out a similar invitation to another man, as he left the store. That person said I don't know man, and kept walking, never turning around to look at the loafer. Using my wisdom as a woman walking alone, I gave a wide berth to the front of the store where the man loitered. As I made my way on towards home, I smiled and thought, Give grace to the graceless, and don't hate, just pray. I did not doubt that God loves that man.
I desire therefore that the men in every place pray,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
(I Timothy 2:8 World English Bible)
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