Love Your Enemy
Loving our enemies is no easy task. But Jesus gives us some specific ways we can start practicing this kind of love: “do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6.27b-28). In all of these actions our role is to take the first step. In doing so, the hearts of our “enemies” are often softened and reconciliation becomes an option.
To do good is not a new concept. Exodus 23.4-5 instructs the Israelites how to interact with an enemy by returning their lost donkey. The idea is to perform some task that benefits the recipient. We tend to withhold any activity that might benefit one of our “enemies,” rationalizing that their harm might teach them a lesson.
To bless relates to how we speak about our enemies. It’s easy to utter words defaming a person’s character rather than building them up. The next time you feel like leaking some damaging information, instead try building them up.
To pray for your enemies is something we do in private, asking God to bless and transform their lives. Don’t forget that God loves them as much as he loves you and wants to bless them just like he wants to bless you.
Pick one of the above three actions and start practicing today. Learning to love your enemy is a skill that comes through modeling the love Christ has for us. By doing so we take radical steps to becoming like the Christ.
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