I can accept not seeking revenge on my enemies. Revenge is just stooping to their level of evil. But loving my enemies? That's a whole different level to reach and seems absolutely impossible -- until you read the rest of the passage. God puts everything into manageable perspective, doesn't He?
Read Matthew 5:43-48.
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,...." NIV
When I stop to consider that the world around us was created for the good and the wicked. That God sent His Son for all men and woman regardless of their state of heart. That I am a mere sinner saved by grace -- a gift I did not deserve. Then what right do I have to withhold love and forgiveness from my enemies. If I do, I am just exhibiting the same arrogance that my enemies display in doing evil. So I become no different than my enemy.
We are given a higher calling -- one that rises above the pettiness of revenge, jealousy, or evil. We are to be set apart from the world by our actions that run counter to the world's actions and set a higher moral standard. It's easy to hate those who hate you. The harder job is to love them. By loving our enemies, we are demonstrating to a lost world a better way. Christ never sets the bar lower; He always raises it to a height that we must rely on Him to achieve.
Lord, fill me with more love so I can love my enemies. I want to show them more of You and less of me and the world. Let them see You through me even in all my imperfections.
- This definitely calls for a rereading of 1 Corinthians 13.
- Remember how you were once an enemy of God. Read Romans 5:1-11 and thank Him for His love for you.
- What is the difference between hating the evil and hating the evil doer? Support with Scripture.
- Are we hated for who we are or for what we represent? How do we separate out the two in our own minds and rise above the situation? Support with Scripture.
- What are some practical ways to show love to your enemy? Read Proverbs 25:21-22.
- Do you have any enemies? Stop right now and pray for them. Then ask God to direct you in how to show your enemy love. You can do it through His power.