What the Bible Says About Love for Your Enemies

But I say to you who are listening:

Love your enemies,

do good to those who hate you,

bless those who curse you,

pray for those who mistreat you.

To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well,

and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either.

Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.

Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.

Luke 6:27–33 ESV Read More

We hate to show who our false gods are.

I hear people say “We’ve never been more divided,” but when I look back over history, “we” have been pretty divided a lot of other times too. I mean, can you imagine what life would have been like during the Civil War, or if there was Facebook when New Coke came out?

The thing is, one of the main things that Jesus prayed for just before His death was that we would have unity with one another as a church.

And I only want to talk about those of us in the Church right now. I think that’s what Jesus meant by

But I say to you who are listening:

Not-hating and putting aside your preferences and your personal desires isn’t for everyone. But it should be a marked characteristic of people that follow Jesus. Loving your enemies and doing good to those that hate you isn’t for everyone, but it is a requirement, a mandate, a lifestyle, for Christians.

And we can’t redefine love here like the lawyer that tried to redefine ‘neighbor’ and helped invent the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Love means love.

So since the Bible interprets itself, what if when Jesus said to ‘love’ your enemies, He meant what the Holy Spirit said through Paul.

1Cor. 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
1Cor. 13:5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
1Cor. 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
1Cor. 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

What if we did THAT to our enemies? That’s what Jesus said we would do if His life was really in us. That is what HE DID to His enemies to the point of death. (And thereby turning us from His enemies into His family!)

In a world that trains us with excellence in finding things to hate and ways to hate, God uses that hate to show us what we are worshipping instead of Jesus. The Holy Spirit can reveal, through your hate, what you are living for instead of Jesus.

That is why we hate to show our false gods. As we experience hate, repent and let Jesus show His love through that situation. The way of Jesus is always better.

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