This Is Us | Relentlessly Good | Love Your Enemies
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27
This may be one of the toughest commands Jesus gave us. He said “Love one another” a lot, and we might even ace that test. After all, we are mostly in charge of who “one another” is: our friends, neighbors, church family… People we chose. But it almost seems like He went too far with this verse. We can understand not killing our enemies, even if we wanted to. We might even refrain from telling them off, because the silent treatment is effective too. But loving them? ISIS terrorists? Burglars?
Co-workers who gossip about us? People who express opposing political opinions?
In order to apply this verse correctly, we need to straighten out some terms. Love is not a blanket validation of what people do, but is a recognition of who they are. For example, we can love the man who broke into our house while also making sure he is arrested. Love brings him cookies in jail without trying to get him out of jail. Love sees beyond the current situation to the eternal value of every human being. We often struggle with obeying this verse because we have confused love with affirmation. While we must love those trapped in homosexual lifestyles, we must never affirm the sinful action. We must love our political opponents, but we still expose unbiblical ideas. Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice. It’s also a tough order, but it’s the way things work in God’s kingdom. Showing love to our enemies is another way of being relentlessly good.
Final Thought: How are you doing with loving your enemies? Choose someone this week that you don’t like and practice.
Prayer: Father, you already know how hard this is. But you loved us even before we knew you. We were your enemies when you died for us, so help me keep that in mind as I work to show love and do good to my enemies. In Jesus’ name, Amen.