Who’s the biggest enemy in your life right now? Certainly a name popped into your mind immediately. Maybe it’s a work nemesis, a troublesome family member, or a friend who betrayed you. Does the remembrance of that person and the way they hurt you still make your fist clench? Or a tear trickle down your cheek? If so, how does it feel to know that Jesus commanded loving your enemies?
If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking of all the excuses to ignore what Jesus instructed. Or if you’re really honest, maybe your response is a decided, “uh… no.” Kevin Groves of Hope in the Morning knows how difficult it can be to love your enemies. So he wants to encourage you today with 3 truths about loving your enemies.
LOVING YOUR ENEMIES IS SUPERNATURAL
Loving our enemies is not a ‘natural’ occurrence. It’s a very tall order. People are typically our enemies because they have ill will toward us which makes loving them seem counter productive. But Jesus, working in us, can accomplish the impossible. He can give us compassion where anger used to reside. He can cause us to want God’s best for someone we’d probably like to see God discipline.
WE MUST CHOOSE TO LISTEN AND OBEY
I also love how Jesus begins this huge statement… “I say to you… who hear.” Everyone has ears, but not everyone listens. We can choose to ignore The Holy Spirit working in us, calling us to return good for evil (Romans 12:17-21). We have to work hard sometimes to stay tuned in with the Lord while tuning out our hurt and anger with our enemies.
IT’S WHAT JESUS DID FOR US
The great theologians, rock band The Eagles, have a great line in one of their songs… “Anger is just love disappointed.” In close relationships, this can especially be true. We need to love that person that hurt us. This doesn’t mean we have to stay in their presence, or ever trust them again. Loving our enemies means we still want God’s best for them in spite of what they did to us. That’s exactly what Jesus did for us. We, as believers, were enemies of God, but He went to the cross anyway so we could experience God’s best for eternity.
Have you learned to love your enemies? What helped you overcome your anger and learn to love? Tell us in the comments!