Love Your Enemies
Love your enemies, as hard as it may be. And discover how your heart grows.
Show genuine interest in other people. Every person. Not just your friends. To do so, you have to care for everyone, not just those you like. It’s the challenge Jesus gave us when he commanded us to love our enemies.
But caring for our enemies is hard! Love is far from my first reaction when I perceive an adversary. But I have learned to control my thinking and change my mind. (Isn’t it amazing how powerful our thoughts are?)
A Simple Way to Change Your Thinking
My friend Scott taught me the following saying that he learned from his priest:
Lord, bless them, forgive me.
I find that this simple saying can do wonders to sway my heart.
The gospel of Jesus is radical! And I am convinced that His Gospel is the only way to bring peace to this earth. Here it is, straight from the mouth of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
No One is Perfect, But God Can Help
It is a challenge for all of us to live like this. Can we talk like we are followers of Jesus and yet hate people who disagree with us? No one is perfect in this regard, but you can ask God to change your heart, and He will.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
What comes out of our mouth betrays what is inside our hearts.
I write these blogs and newsletters for myself first and, of course, for you. Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, has called us to walk closely with Him. We are to be followers of the way.
God’s Holy Spirit within us will change our minds and hearts if we allow Him to do so. We can not do this through our own effort. It comes only through the renewing power of the person of Jesus Christ. Pray for it. Ask for it. He will come to you!
How Loving Your Enemies Transforms Your Life
You will become a better person as you learn to love your enemies. Harboring hate, resentment, anger, fear, bitterness or any other negative emotion causes your own heart to shrink. You are the one who suffers. It has an unhealthy effect on your entire person.
As love grows in your heart, your horizons broaden, your relationships expand and deepen. Try it; you will like it!