Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
One of the struggles we have as believers is thinking that if we love our enemies then what they may have done to us is justified. To take it further there is also the thinking that to forgive and love our enemies means that we have to reconcile with them as well.
Think about Stephen and Jesus, both of them prayed for their persecutors while their persecutors were in the process of killing them. Do you think Jesus and Stephen were in agreement with what their persecutors were doing to them? NO! but yet they took the initiative to pray for them.
We forgive and love not based on the level of evil the other individual has committed against us but based on our new nature in Christ. We love unconditionally.
John 3:16 NKJV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Think about the most famous verse in the bible. Through Jesus, forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to God is made available for everyone. The bible says whosoever meaning this offer is made available for everybody. Unfortunately not everybody is reconciled to God. Did God know that this would happen? Yes he did but he still made forgiveness available to everyone because his forgiveness was not based on who would embrace it but rather it is based on his nature!
There are those people you will forgive and love but they will not reciprocate. They may choose to hold on to the hate and unforgiveness. God will not hold you responsible for their actions, yours is to forgive and love.
Do you struggle with reconciliation when it comes to forgiving those who have hurt you deeply?
When you look at your relationship with God and how he treats you, what are some key lessons you learn about loving your enemies and reconciliation?
Is there someone who has been reaching out to you for reconciliation but you have held back because of the pain they caused you? What will you do about it?