The highest form of love is shaped like a Cross. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Not only did God love you while you were His enemy, He expects you to do the same towards your enemies.
The wisdom of men will tickle your ears, but the words of Christ will kick you in the stomach. Jesus taught, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
Revelation of the heart
Nothing reveals the heart of a saint with greater clarity than their enemies.
It will be in your ability to love the unlovable where the power of His love can be found in you. The Lord Jesus taught, “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32).
The greater your love for your enemies, the greater Christ reigns in you.
If we are not different from the world, then we are not living by His kingdom principles.
The greatest test of our love to Christ is how we treat others that hate us. The Lord Jesus taught, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).
It is easy to be Spirit led until someone gets under your skin. It is with the people that treat us the worst where we find the degree to which Christ has changed us.
Just as you can find a reason to hate, you can find a reason to love. What you do reveals whether Christ is in you. “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).
You are not defined by what people say about you, but what you say about them.
I can always tell the degree that Christ reigns in a saint by the way they speak to someone they disagree with. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
The test of our faith is not in arguing what we believe, but in living it.
Changing of the heart
Do not focus on the person against you, but the deficiency it reveals within you.
Every difficult person in your life reveals which fruit of the Spirit has not yet ripened in your life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Difficult people are the mirrors in which the Lord reveals your heart to you.
Pray blessings on those who are against you. It is not meant to change them, but you. The Lord Jesus taught us, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:28).
You cannot make a friend being the enemy.
Love builds bridges and gentleness paves the way. “…live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
It is hard to be mad at people when you are praying for them.
Prevailing over your enemies
Don’t be surprised that your enemies hate you, but let your enemies be surprised that you love them.
The greatest way to prevail over your enemies is to love them.
When you love your enemies, you remove the hold they have on you, which is your anger towards them. Jesus commands us, “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).
Love is to hate what light is to darkness. There is no defense against love.
The ultimate counterattack is to love your enemy.
Bless and love on the most unlovable person you know. Open the door of your heart wide towards them. It is through this door that God will then pour His blessings into you.
To be related to the Father you need to show some of His characteristics. Jesus said, “…love your enemies…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven… (Matthew 5:44-45).
Blessings to you,
All Scripture is in red and uses the NKJV (New King James Version) translation unless otherwise noted.
10 thoughts on “Love Your Enemies”
God has put people in my path that has tested my ability to love them. But when I’ve made the decision to love them it’s worked out and many times we become friends. It took me getting out of myself, putting down my obstacles and smashing through my barriers to see them as Christ sees them. Another huge factor was to spend time listening and drawing them out to hear their story. To be interrested in them and not judge! We all have our stories that have shaped our lives both positive and negative. We’ve all formed defense mechanisms to help cope in life and to protect us due to life experiences. So, who am I to judge and condemn someone else when I don’t know what has made them be the way they are, react or respond the way they do. Many times it’s out of their woundedness. I know because I’ve been one of those people who was hard to love and/or get close too. I always hoped that someone would see the real me inside that I was protecting. Thank God, He saw through all that, put people in my path that led me to the Lord and He’s been working in me for over 30 years now! How can I not have the same compassion for others that He had for me Is it easy, no it’s not, but when you draw on and ask for the power of God we can do ALL things through Him who equips and strengthens us to do what we can’t do. All’s we have to do is ask and be willing, God does all the rest. It’s difficult at first but it gets easier and it is so rewarding to see God do His work in others through our obediant hearts. Amen!!
Thank you Paul!
This is such a powerful testimony of all that God can do through a soul surrendered unto Him. I love how God first did a work in you through someone who was willing to break through the barriers you had. Then He took you and is using you to reach others. How much we need to realize that often people can be difficult because it is a defense mechanism they have developed to keep from being hurt more than they have already. They refuse love so that it cannot be broken. But it leaves them broken. Blessings to you as you minister to the fringe, to those who many see as unreachable, but Christ in you, all things are possible!
This is so great i needed this more now than ever! thanks!
Thank you so much! Praying God’s blessings over you!
Very, very… very good! If we would live this, it not only would bring many to Christ but would bring the the peace and joy to our own lives that we so desire.
Thank you so much Jim! And that is such a good word you have here. I think there is no greater witness for Christ than for us to love those who do not deserve it, as that is exactly how Jesus loves us. His grace is more than enough, let us share the same grace.
I know I’ve fallen in my faith regarding this command. Disappointing behavior from others I care for affects how I react to them. Its unsettling when family and friends treat you in the worst ways by acting in sinful ways. I tend to pull back and disengage myself from the relationship as a safety measure. I want to be compassionate, understanding, forgiving and helpful but I’m very discouraged by their prior actions and repetative behaviors. I seem to walk away feeling less loving and unloved. It’s at this point I pray for Jesus to take the wheel and help me and them. I don’t feel like there’s fruitfulness in the relationship. No love, joy or peace. Just an existance. I know that’s not how God wants us to be with one another. I suffer the losses. Any advice would be appreciated. God bless you!
I think the closer people are to us, the harder it is to forgive them for how they have treated us. We have higher expectations of how they should treat us if they are friends or family. We have trusted them more and in the process made ourselves more vulnerable. But when this trust is broken, we can end up building defensive walls that not only block the bad from coming in, but the good as well. That we can make the choice to be alone and safe as better than the possibility of being together and be open to getting hurt. But love is a higher thing when we are talking of divine love. The love God has is unconditional, immeasurable, beyond anything we can ever acquire through natural effort. Here is divine love:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Seek the Father and pray He would pour this divine love into your heart. Do not think on others that need to change, but the change He can do in you. Allow Him to minister into your life, to lower your defenses and allow His love to pour through you onto those around you. They do not deserve it, none of us do, but that is divine love, in that it is founded on grace and mercy.
Thank you for this! So much truth and I need to apply it. I will pray for this in the week ahead! I have a person who I find it a great struggle to love. It affects me when we are in the same place. While I have had someone confirm danger to me by the way of a vision (not physical, more so spiritually threat/attack towards me)… I still need to love her. We can love people while still not getting close to them or being involved with what we shouldn’t. We need to be prayerful and cautious as well, while making sure we arent holding their past mistakes against them.
Forgiveness plays a huge role here as well. We must forgive, or we will not be forgiven OUR sins! Matthew 6:15
This passage has lead me to really think on broken relationships and I have seen healing and repair 🙂
Hi Andra, you are most welcome! This was a difficult message in that we gloss over the words of Christ, but when we have a circumstance in our lives in which we should live His words, it becomes painfully clear just how impossible it is to do so. Yet Jesus never tells us what we cannot do, but He knows we need His life in ours in which to do them. Praying for wisdom to be loving, but guarded, in your situation. We sometimes need to love others at a distance, praying for your wisdom and discernment to know what that distance should be.