How Do You Learn To Love Your Enemies?
Jesus said in Matthew 5:43, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This command of Christ is one of the most difficult we face, and is not possible without His power. Here are five ways, directly and indirectly, to show love to your enemies:
1. Turn them over to God. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:18-21 NIV God knows best how to handle them!
2. Remember that present sufferings are temporary. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18 NIV
3. Your “enemy” is also your neighbor. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 19:18 NIV
4. We are also commanded to persevere. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NIV
5. God is love, we as believers are His witnesses. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – 1 John 4:10-12 NIV
What are some ways that God used you to show love to your enemies?