“You have hard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44)
Who is your enemy? Who is it who makes your life miserable? Who is it who takes and takes and takes and never gives? Who is it who has caused you pain- mental, emotional, maybe even physical? The thought of whom fills you with all kinds of hurt and hate?
We live in a world that tears itself apart with hate, anger, and revenge. We live with hearts that naturally want to hurt and hate back. Yet what does Jesus say? “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’
How is that even possible?? Because Jesus did just that. By all of our hate, selfish anger, and wanting revenge, we’ve shown that as sinners, we’re God’s enemies. But what did God do for His enemies? In love and grace He stepped in our place and took God’s punishment for all our sins on Himself on the cross. Because of Jesus your sins are forgiven! Because of Jesus you are at peace with God! Because of Jesus God loves you dearly!
And…because Jesus loved His enemies – me and you – we can return evil with kindness, we can forgive instead of “making them pay,” we can love instead of hate. And you know what? When we model our Savior’s love and forgiveness, who knows how our enemy may be brought to repentance and finally be saved too?
Thankful that God loved His enemies, just like you,