"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never-I promise-regret it. Live out this God-Created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our father is kind; you be kind." Luke 6:35-36 The Message.
I'd be willing to bet that most of us have someone in our lives that we just don't like. Maybe they did something to hurt us, or maybe there is just something about them that irritates us, maybe we feel like the choices they are making aren't right. Whatever the reason, most of us have had a person like this in our lives at some point. We build up these negative feelings towards them in hopes that we will make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Usually we end up feeling worse and the negative feelings consume our lives. It eventually ends up effecting other parts of our lives that are not even related to this person.
As Christians we are called to love our enemies. The love described here is a general love, meaning you don't romantically love them or even love them like you love your best friend, but you love them in a genuine way-meaning you care about their well-being. To love your enemy is to find it in your heart to put aside differences and love them regardless.
This is life's greatest challenge.
But why? Why would we want to love someone who has harmed us or someone who gets under our skin. It's simple: because Jesus loves us. We are sinners, we hurt the Lord time and time again but guess what.. he doesn't leave us. He loves us unconditionally just as we should love others.
Showing love to your enemy is to show Christ's love on earth. I feel like so many people have this warped view of Christianity because they see those who claim to follow Christ making judgements against their enemies. As followers of Jesus we are called to love EVERYONE-no.matter.what!
I know it's not easy, let's be honest the last thing we want to do is smile and act like that person doesn't bother us.. but if we think about it in terms of Jesus' love for us it makes a whole lot more sense. Jesus is a friend to sinners, and so should we. If we want people to come to Jesus we have to love them like He loves them. Let our hearts be lead by mercy and not judgement.
Listen to the lyrics of this song and really think about the relationships you have in your life. Are you loving like Jesus? Are there some people you need to make things right with?
"Help us to remember we are all the least of thieves let the memory of your mercy bring your people to their knees, no body knows what were for only what we're against when we judge the wounded, what if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines and loved like You did?"