Love is in short supply today. We are more bent on sharing our opinions and criticisms than we are any praise. Science backs this up. We are twice as likely to share the negative than we are the positive. The chemical reactions in our brains lean towards the negative. Christ counters that by telling us to love our enemies. It won’t come naturally. We will need some help to make ourselves do it.
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
Breeding Ground for Contempt
In the Jewish religious system, there were the haves and the have-nots. You had the Pharisees who pumped up their spiritual egos by showing everyone how religious they were by their acts. Then you had the rest of the population. The Pharisees looked down on ordinary people as unworthy. They had attitudes of contempt for everyone who was not like them. This was a breeding ground for contempt. Jesus arrives on the scene and tells everyone to love their enemies. It was like He was speaking a foreign language.
Jesus is introducing another revolutionary principle of Christianity; Love your enemies. This was not only countercultural, but it goes against our nature. You are to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and bless those who curse and mistreat you? That is hard if you do it under your power. In fact, it is downright impossible.
Love Your Enemies
This shows you how God transforms you when you start to follow Him. The Holy Spirit pours God’s love into your heart, and you now love with His love instead of yours. When that happens, you are open to the idea of praying for your enemies and blessing those who mistreat you. If you lack that love, you either need to give your life to Jesus or ask the Holy Spirit to transform your heart. When you do, you will start to notice the gradual changes.