Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:43-4
When I read that passage, I quickly become defensive and want to question God:
“Really? You must be joking! Love our enemies? Are you crazy?”
“God, you saw what lies she spread about me. How in the world can I love that woman?”
“He hurt me to the core. I will never bounce back fully. I have already decided we will never speak again.”
Have you ever argued with God before? How’d that go? Every time I tell God I know better than Him, it’s only a matter of time before I get put in my right place.
How quickly I forget who God really is. He spoke the whole world into existence. He knows us better than we know ourselves. When He wrote the Bible, God knew we might not like some parts or agree with all of His wisdom, but He penned the scriptures because He loves us and knows what’s best for us.
The Bible is one long love letter from God.
God’s greatest desire is to be our God and for us to be His people. From the Israelites in the Old Testament to all who call Jesus their Savior today, God has never stopped loving His children. He woes each and every one of us to come close and live by His commands.
When Jesus clearly communicated two thousand years ago that we are to love our enemies, I’m sure His people were just as challenged as we are today. At the time, Jesus and all of God’s people were living under Roman authority. They wanted to be set free from cruelty and oppression. Jesus told them to love their enemies, even the Romans. Jesus’ teachings were new and different and flew in the face of cultural norms. No wonder so many disciples turned away and stopped following Him (John 6:66).
We are not turning back. We are following Jesus and all of His teachings, even the hard ones like “Love your enemies.” If we’re going to love the most challenging people in our lives, let’s start by doing what Jesus said to do: PRAY for our enemies.
As you’re praying for the people who have hurt or wronged you, God will soften your heart (eventually). Ask for blessings to flow down from heaven upon them. Wait as the Holy Spirit helps you see things from their perspective. “Stepping into their shoes” can actually ignite a flame of compassion in your heart. There’s a blessing in this challenging process for us, too. As we love our enemies, we’re the one set free from hatred, bitterness, anger, and revenge. Our loving Father knows what’s best for us. He knows laughter is better than sorrow, forgiveness higher than anger, love greatly than hate.
The Power of Giving God Thanks Will Ignite Your Faith and Change Your World!
Thank You for Being a part of the 3 O’Clock Wake Up Movement