As Christians, we are called to a higher standard. We are to hate the evil, and love our enemies. Here are 5 reminders on how to love our enemies.
• Change your perspective and extend grace. Remember we are all sinners. (Romans 3:23) When we see others struggle or act of of hurt, we need to remember that we are broken in places as well and while Christ has extended His grace and forgiveness to us, we certainly should also extend it to others.
Romans 5:10 “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
• Seek peace, not revenge. Romans 12:9-21… read it, really, go read it. We are not to seek revenge, for that is for God’s wrath. On the contrary, we are to overcome evil with good. Live out the saying, “kill em’ with kindness”.
Romans 12:17 “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.”
- Practice Agape love. Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus tells his disciples not to repay and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but to love your enemies. This isn’t the kind of love you may have for you spouse or children, but the greek word for the love spoken in this verse is agape which is to love no matter how we are treated in return, but to treat them with goodwill or compassion
John 15:12 “Love one another as I have loved you.”
- Pray for them. There is nothing more liberating than praying and handing something or someone over to God. It is like removing a boulder off of yourself, am I right? You nor I are going to be the one to ‘change’ someone without Christ’s powerful hand in the midst. When we pray for them and for ourselves, we grow and mature and become more Christ-like. We gain strength to ‘turn the other cheek’, give compassion, and mostly to see them the way God sees them.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
• They, too, can be used for His glory. God is the creator of you and me and of our enemies. He created us to be in His image (Genesis 1:27). If we are the change that others desire to be, if we shine so that others want to know it is that we possess, then we can give them the hope in Christ that we have and allow them to be used for God’s glory. Isn’t that where we Christians came from too at one point?
“Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27-28