Who is your enemy? The dictionary defines an enemy as a person who is actively opposed or hostile towards someone.
I am sure for some of you, there is at least one person in your life who is hating on you for no reason at all, or at least a reason that it is completely unknown to you.
Offense is a huge culprit in destroying relationships. Maybe someone has offended you or you have offended them. You may have forgiven them and you may have even tried in your best efforts to make peace and reconcile with these people. Unfortunately, they may not have accepted the invitation to reconcile to make peace with you in return. It is important to note that forgiveness only requires one person, but reconciliation takes two people. It is a conscious decision of both people to try to help restore a broken relationship. So without the other person, it cannot be done.
Knowing that someone does not like you is a hard reality to face. If someone is not willing to reconcile or make peace with you, sadly, they are considered your enemy. So, what should you do?
Jesus says in Luke 6:27-28,”Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you”. This is an extremely difficult but necessary set of commands.
The best way for the Lord to move in your life, is for you to have an open heart of love for all of His children – yep, even those people who hate you!
How do you do that? One word: Prayer! Pray for them. I am not referring to prayers about God convicting their hearts and making them see you differently! I am talking about prayers of blessings. That God will meet them at their need and cause an abundance of blessings to pour on them. Be specific and get creative when you pray blessings over them.
I guarantee you, the more you pray for them, the more love you will have for them. All the hurt that was once in your heart will be replaced with love, and you will begin to see them through the eyes of Christ.
Believe it or not, the kind of love Jesus is referring to in this passage is agape love and it is the highest form of love. It is a deliberate, sacrificial, unconditional, non retaliatory kind of love. This kind of love is indiscriminate; it loves friend and foe just the same. It seeks nothing in return and only wants the best for others. The kind of love that will make you start seeing your enemy as a valuable child of God! The kind of love that we seldom practice, but are required to!
Most Christians like to think they love well. Sadly, many live like the pharisees – highly religious, full of pride, judgmental and prejudicial, and that is how they love others as well. They don’t see anything wrong with it, but kingdom love is not narrow like that. Jesus wants us to love everyone -those who are easy to love, and those who are difficult to love.
Although your enemies may hate you, there is something deeper going on with them that is vital for you to grasp. Their hate destroys their values and distorts their vision. They see what is beautiful as ugly, and what is true as false. Their hate becomes like an unchecked disease that corrodes their personality and disintegrates the unity with those in their lives. Choose not to repay hate with more hate. Pray for them every chance you get, they need it more than you know. They are likely fighting a vicious battle in their mind!
Even if nothing ever changes in your relationship with your enemies, just know that God is changing you as you continue to pray for them and bless them. That’s the beauty of prayer – it not only changes situations and things, it changes you. And that is exactly what God wants for you – to be changed and transformed to the person He has designed you to be.
So, I encourage you, as we are in Holy week and approaching Resurrection weekend, make every effort to not only forgive those who have hurt you, but try to reconcile with them as well. And if it is not possible to reconcile with them, keep loving them the way Jesus has commanded. Jesus is our perfect example because He showed that agape love to everyone -to those who hated Him, and those who loved Him. This was the way He lived His life! Every single one of us were on His mind when He died on the cross and conquered the grave, never forget that!
I pray your lives will be transformed as you actively choose to love your enemies!
Blessings and love to you!!