The other day I went to lunch at Panda Express with my wife. We got our typical meal which consists mostly of Orange Chicken and we enjoyed a delicious meal. My favorite part of eating at a Chinese restaurant, even if it is Panda, is the Fortune Cookie. I don’t know what it is about them, but they always scream my name. We even have Fortune Cookie rules, which are never to be broken or the Fortune inside is not valid (for the rules, talk to me later).
But this Fortune Cookie stood out to me in a way that many of them don’t. This one was a bit more meaningful and was actually filled with wisdom. The Fortune Cookie read, “The best way to get rid of an enemy is to make a friend.”
Fortune Cookies aren’t the only one’s that say things similar to this. Jesus is recorded in Matthew by saying, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.
If we’re willing to be completely honest, no one likes people in their lives that they consider enemies. That’s why they’re enemies. But Jesus doesn’t tell us to like our enemies; he says to pray for them. And if we’re spending time on our knees praying for our enemies, eventually they won’t be our enemies anymore. In prayer, our hearts are changed. When we pray for others, our hearts are softened and we have more grace toward those people.
And the Fortune Cookie nailed it on the head, especially if you combine it with what Jesus said. If we fervently pray for our enemies, our hearts change, which allows us to put aside whatever may have happened and become friends.
Additionally, it seems that often times our pride can get in the way and we end up holding grudges for far too long. Maybe if we put aside our feelings for just a little while, God will soften our hearts, releasing whatever deep-seeded pain we have so we can live in freedom, knowing that we have one less enemy and one more friend.
Pastor Jason Kinzel