Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” (Mt 5:44) Perhaps it’s the cornerstone of all godliness, actively seeking the good of others, even those who’d harm us.
This is unnatural, certainly; it denies our self-protective instinct. Returning good for evil enables and strengthens our enemies to harm us even more. Yet it is our God’s example. (Mt 5:45)
Living this way as a manner of life requires an energy from another world, a Life beyond our own. It is perhaps the greatest witness of the reality of God, that we commit our physical care into His hands, just as we have our souls and spirits. (1Pe 4:19) It is only then that we live as children of our heavenly Father.
There is a time to resist abuse, and a time to suffer according to the will of God. It is the wisdom of God to tell these apart, but there is never a time to wish ill to another. (Ro 13:10) Let us not fear to follow God in suffering for His name, for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2Co 4:16-18)
3 thoughts on “Love Your Enemies”
Thinking of Isis, and the Syrian refugee crisis. Am I willing to risk my own safety to help people in need, even though some among them may be willing to lay down their lives to destroy me?
And of our nation’s leadership, many of whom are willing to endanger us all to achieve their political agenda, and of so many who thoughtlessly and selfishly support them. Am I actively praying for God to bless them, and seeking their good in my heart?
Because iniquity abounds, shall my love grow cold? (Mt 24:12)
Thinking God approves of us because He hears our prayers and takes care of us is evidently a mistake. This mentality fancies God to be like our own depraved selves: God loves His enemies as well as His friends. We ought not to mistake His benevolence as evidence of our election.
When we rejoice in the calamity of our enemy, this displeases God so much that he will turn away His wrath from them. He cares more about preserving our character than punishing the wicked now. His primary purpose in Creation is not to punish evil, but to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Tit 2:14)