Loving Your Enemies
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This command of Jesus to love our enemies is challenging to wrap our minds around today, but it has its roots in the Old Testament.
In Proverbs 25:21, we read, "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink." This verse teaches us to treat our enemies with kindness and generosity, not spite and revenge.
The apostle Paul put this command into practice when he wrote in Romans 12:20-21, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good." Paul understood that showing love and kindness to an enemy was a powerful way to overcome evil.
Jesus echoed this idea when he said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44).
Here Jesus is teaching us to look at our enemies as real people with real needs and to show them Grace, despite how they may have treated us. By adopting a forgiving attitude towards our enemies, we can take away their power over us, break cycles of hatred and violence, and transform our relationship with them.
By showing kindness to those who wish us harm, we can create a world of understanding and peace instead of one driven by hatred and destruction. We must take steps towards creating this kind of World where love overcomes evil. As Paul wrote in Romans 12:21, "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good."
We all can make a positive difference in the World and show Grace to those who persecute us. By taking these steps towards Forgiveness, we can take away our enemies' power and break cycles of violence. We must choose love over revenge to establish a peaceful and just society.
We can start by changing how we think about our enemies, viewing them with compassion, kindness, and understanding instead of hatred. Instead of reacting in anger or lashing out at those who have wronged us, we must strive for peace and reconciliation.
It isn't easy, but taking the higher Christian Road is always the right choice. We must remember that no matter how difficult it may seem, love is always worth fighting for!
It is essential to recognize and understand our enemies' motives and experiences (Spiritually and Physically), not as an excuse or justification for their actions, but to gain insight into why they have acted in such a way.
As we strive for mutual understanding and respect, we must also remember to forgive those who wronged us, not out of weakness but from a place of strength supplied through the power of The Holy Spirit.
Only through Forgiveness can true peace be achieved on an individual level or a Worldwide War. In addition, practicing Forgiveness and compassion helps create a ripple effect in our community that leads to more understanding, respect, and empathy.
Let us strive to be the change we wish to see in the World by taking a stand for Love and Compassion!
Note: Loving your Enemies does not mean to "Compromise your Faith or any Biblical Principles." Loving your enemies allows you to move about freely in a World lost in its rejections of The Cross of Christ!