Loving Your Enemies

Loving one’s enemies is quite a challenging effort to make, especially in today’s society with its politicking and mob-thinking and “my way or the highway” mentalities.  You’ll find a lot of resistance, but I assure you, when you start treating your enemies as your brothers and sisters, it’s more rewarding than possessing all the snarky come-backs in the world in your arsenal, whether you’re a Christian or not.  In fact, I highly recommend it, although it can be painful at times.

So what’s so great about loving your enemies?  Why did Jesus Christ make it such a great commandment?  Did He want us to suffer by enduring such a hard task?

Well, many great movements in the past sprouted with the message of love at their forefronts.  Martin Luther King Jr. with civil rights is a good example.  Aside from being a beautiful and articulate piece of writing, his “I Have a Dream” speech was woven repeatedly with the thread of love.  He rebuked some civil rights activists for wanting to lash back more aggressively at segregationists, insisting that all protests be peaceful, and that by showing love to the enemies of the civil rights movement, they could change their hearts rather than reinforce their hatred.

I firmly believe that love is what ultimately changes hearts and creates friendships from enmity.  Not debate, not violence, nor even legislation.  Love is a powerful tool.

I also find that when you begin to love those you used to hate, and love those who curse you, you’re actually completely liberated.  Hatred creates stress, high blood pressure, digestive distress, stomach ulcers, and a whole host of emotional and mental health issues.  Wasting your time dwelling on your anger towards someone does nothing but make you feel awful.  But if you flip the coin and decide to forgive them and extend a hand of friendship towards them, even if they reject you, they are the ones who remain burdened, not you.  And, you know, one-sided anti-pathy doesn’t usually last.

So I encourage you, reader, to love your enemies and respect those who curse you.  It’s not easy, but good things never are.  You will find a lot of freedom this way.

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5 thoughts on “Loving Your Enemies

  1. That is a really cool statement you made Ada, not ‘love your enemies,’ but

    ‘I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT;’ easier said than done to be sure, but we have the ideal.

    And not just to ‘tolerate’ someone who opposes us, not only to placate their hostility, not to ‘just get along,’ but to LOVE your enemy………….’ to entirely and without reservation bestow all the goodness on God to them,’ (my word sorry) oh my, not easy. Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief.,

    A good word Ada,
    tkx

    (when WE were enemies, Christ died for us…..) yea, that’s a good enough reason to ‘love your enemy.

    Like

    • Yes, I highly recommend loving your enemies. 😉 A lot of hypocrisy comes when us Christians make these high standards for ourselves and each other, but that doesn’t mean we should just give up trying. We SHOULD admit that it is quite difficult to love your enemies and talk about our struggles, but nevertheless, God obliges us to keep trying to practice what we preach.

      That’s a pretty powerful thing you said there too, Colorstorm. We’re not supposed to just not get mad at our enemies; we’re supposed to greet them with love, give them a helping hand – heck, even sometimes die for them. We have to remember that Jesus literally had dinners at the houses of sinners – murderers, adulterers, prostitutes, tax collectors, the whole gamut. He made them His friends.

      That last part is true as well. Before we were in Christ, we were enemies of Christ, and yet He still died for us. Like Paul on the Damascus road on his way to persecute the early Church, until Christ appeared to him and changed his heart. It certainly is a good reason to love thy enemy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post, Ada. Often our enemies have something important to teach us about ourselves. Many times what we dislike in another person is really what we dislike or fear in ourselves.

    Long ago somebody taught me that hatred was not the opposite of love at all, indifference and apathy are. Love and hate run very close together. It’s kind of amusing, a few times when I’ve been tempted to hate people, God has asked me if I’m madly in love with them. No! Well, then you can’t hate them. Hatred is evidence of intense and passionate emotions 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, IB. That’s true. Some people hate others out of jealousy and feelings of the other person being superior, too.

      Haha, my father told me that, too. I often see hatred as you loving someone the wrong way, since you usually hate a person for their negative characteristics rather than their qualities. What you really want in a person you hate is for them to change, to be a better person. Loving someone also requires you to help them improve themselves, only there is a lot more patience, care, support, and understanding there.

      The fine line between love and hate is really just a demonstration of how humans don’t want to be evil for the sake of being evil – we want to be good, we just often miss the mark, sometimes in disastrous ways. We’re just bad at being good.

      Liked by 1 person

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