It seems like there are forces everywhere trying to make people hate each other, use each other, attack each other, and divide from each other! It’s so easy to become enemies! Maybe someone insulted you, and you can’t let it go.
Maybe someone stabbed you in the back, and you’re still recovering? Maybe someone intentionally, or maybe just inadvertently, did something, or said something, that cost you money, time, energy, or a whole lot more.
Maybe these people have become your enemy!
What about the woman you judge because you don’t like how she is parenting her children, or the co-worker you ignore because he got the promotion you deserved, or the gossip you spread about someone else because of the bitterness in your own heart?
If we are honest with ourselves, these people have become our enemies, we may smile and wave (or not ) as we pass them by, but there is no love for them in us at all. People like this may qualify to be your enemy, but they also qualify to receive your love.
It is human nature to love those who love us and to hate those who hate us.
We are not children of the world, but we are supposed to be children of God! And as children of God we are called to live unlike the world and show love to our enemies.
Our goal should be to turn our enemies into our partners and friends! If we can do that then we’ll be more and more like God, we’ll be less and less like the world, and we’ll begin the process of healing and of overcoming evil!
Our culture respects men and women who defend themselves, who look opponents in the eye and refuse to back down. When someone cuts us off on the freeway, the world expects us to retaliate with at least some kind of hand gesture. When a coworker ridicules us, we’re supposed to strike back with a sharper comment.
If we don’t try to even the score then people consider us soft or weak. But Jesus calls us to something different. Something Radical.
3 WAYS TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES:
1. Pray for them. Jesus tells us that one way we can love our enemies is to pray and seek God on their behalf. That’s not to pray that God pays them back, or that God gives them what they deserve, but to pray for God to bless them. Prayer will change, not only their heart, but yours as well.
2. Being good to them. As Christ followers the way we treat our enemies says allot about the God we serve. God loves all people even the one’s who we don’t like and don’t like us. Let’s take every opportunity to treat them well.
3. Bearing with them. We’re never going to heal everything. We’re never going to forget everything. We’re never going to get along with everyone. But we can pray for everyone. We can do good to everyone. And even when there’s tension, and friction we can bear with one another in love.
See, we are not going to like everybody. And guess what? Everyone is not going to like us! What God says to us, is, “I know you are not going to like everyone, but you need to bear with everyone out of love.”
This means we need to endure one another, show patience toward one another, accept one another, and deal with people’s quirks, hag-ups and differences, just as Jesus Christ must endures ours!
The next time you feel wronged, ridiculed, or exploited remember the radical love Jesus showed, and be willing to give that same love away to someone else!