Practical Love: Love your Enemy

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.
Loving our enemy is one of those commands that many of us struggle with and one of the main questions we ask is “How should I love my enemy?” Since Love is an action word, let us look at some of the practical things mentioned in our key verse that direct us on how we are to love our enemies.
We are to bless those who curse us. This word bless has the root meaning of speaking well in the same manner with which we speak a blessing upon someone to prosper and be in good health. It is to speak praises over someone. This is the exact opposite of what those who are cursing you are doing. Remember we are to repay evil with good and that is how we overcome evil.
We are also instructed to do good to those who hate us. Our actions toward those who hate us should be good. We should not only speak well of them but treat them with kindness and dignity. We should be good to them morally and treat them with honesty and kindness.
Prayer is also another thing we are instructed to do. We are to pray for those who spitefully use us. Not the kind of “dangerous prayers” I hear some people making calling the fire of heaven and curses to come down and consume their enemies. We should pray the way Jesus and Stephen prayed for those who were out to kill them. A prayer for God to open their eyes so that they may see the light, a prayer for them to be forgiven for their wrongdoing and a prayer for God to bless them.
These are hard things to do but we have the Holy Spirit with us who helps us in our weaknesses. When we do such things in response to the hate that our enemies spew against us, even hell itself gets confused because it is not the kind of response that anyone would expect.
Remember, we overcome evil by doing good!
Reflections
“Bless those who curse you” How powerful do you think our words are and what other scriptures talk about words?
Check out Matthew 5:15-16 What is the result of doing good to those who hate us?
When was the last time you prayed for your enemy and what kind of prayer was it?
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