Every once in a while, you are given some instructions that are hard to swallow, but you know it is the right thing. As a child, your parents told you to do your chores. You hated it, but it taught you work ethic. At your job, your boss tells you to complete a project that you don’t have much interest in but input you in line for a promotion. Jesus tells you to love your enemies. Unthinkable, but the only way forward.
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.”
Love Your Enemies
Jesus tells His listeners the opposite of what they are expecting. Love your enemies instead of hating them. Pray for, bless, and do good to those who mistreat you. What is He thinking here? These are some of the hardest things Jesus ever spoke. Why would anyone want to do good to someone who hates them? That’s insanity. Yet Jesus says it with the expectation it is to become the norm. Believers are to love their enemies and go out of their way to bless them.
Do you struggle with holding hard feelings towards those who have hurt you? Most people do. Does the thought of loving that person and even praying for them make your stomach turn? If so, Jesus gives a simple plan to implement to get over those feelings. First, you need to pray for them. How do you do that? By asking God to protect them and make His love known. Next, you need to look for opportunities to do good to them. If they curse you in the process, just reply by saying, “God bless you.” All of these add up to loving your enemy.
Unthinkable, but the Only Way Forward
Why does Jesus tell you to do this? He doesn’t want you living with bitterness and anger. If you obsess over being wronged, you will always seek justice. These take you away from the work God wants to do in your heart and how He wants to use you. You will miss out on the joy and peace that is freely yours. Heed Jesus’ instruction and love your enemy.