What are your struggles, your personal challenges? People who just rub you the wrong way. Rude people at the market. Coworkers who don’t pull their weight. People of a different race, or culture or religion that you find hard to love. Let’s be honest, we all have these difficulties.
I find it easier to deal with these irritants when I can remember to rely on scripture, namely Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
It helps to see it as it is, another battle clothed in what I am experiencing. The spiritual battle in the heavenlies is manipulating, duping us to think it is “that person or issue”. When really my struggle is my sin and the manipulation of circumstances to make me react in a way to not love. To separate me from that person and react. To not pray for my enemies and love those who persecute me (Mt 5:43-48).
Instead I get angry and hate and have vitriol for that person, when they are a child of God and I should overcome my reactionary ungodliness and not return evil or retaliate.
If I can love like Jesus, and see it for what it is – truly a spiritual battle I can overcome my own sin and see the situation clearly. I can even understand the impossible to understand such as a child molester, or suicide bomber. I can fight the real battle – the one in the heavenlies manifesting itself as the issue in front of me that I must deal with.
It’s not easy, and I frequently forget this. But I thank God for his Word. For helping me se and hopefully deal with the real issue correctly.