Love Your Enemies
Love your enemy! Easy to write but difficult to do. Difficult because when you have been hurt by someone’s words or actions, the most natural thing is to want that person to receive their just punishment. But, Jesus tells us that is not the right attitude to have. Our attitude toward the individual who hurt us must be love.
Love itself is not a mere emotional feeling; it is an act of will. To love someone, especially someone who hurt you, requires Intentionality; it is a choice that we must make and stay with. You see men, if we don’t make the choice to love our enemy, then we become susceptible to the opposite of love, which is hate, and hate is a bad thing. Nelson Mandela gives this advice regarding hate, “If you hate, you give your enemy your heart and your mind. Don’t give the enemy those two things.”
You see men, if our righteousness is to surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:20), we must show a higher standard of righteousness than loving only those who are friendly to our interest. We must also love those who oppose our interests. By loving this way, we emulate the character of our Heavenly Father.
This Week’s Challenge: Who in your life is your “enemy”? Pray for an attitude of love toward them. Who in your life are you an “enemy” to? Show an attitude of love toward that person by asking for their forgiveness of you.