Loving Your Enemy

The Lord, who is gracious and continues to give me more than I ever deserve or hope for, has given me something this week, and that which He has given me is wisdom. He has given to me an understanding of something that I have accepted as true when I began following Him and reading His word but never really understood. You know how your parents told you to do something as a child you didn’t understand it but, because they told you to do it you did it anyways; at least most of the time. The subject I would like to talk about today is; loving your enemy. We each have many enemies and make many more enemies every day. One moment a husband and wife can be the best of friends and the next become enemies. Friends divide over a multitude of issues all the time. Then there are those who for whatever reason just do not like you. We as believers are warned by Jesus that the world will hate us because it hated Him. (see John 15:18-26) And Paul tells us in his letter to Timothy; “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) So we all in some way have enemies, but Jesus says to love our enemies. Okay, Jesus is Lord and if He says love your enemies I accept that I’m to love my enemies. Easy right, I don’t know about you but it is not easy for me. People at times just do awful things to each other; people hate other people for no good reason at all and do things to hurt them every day. People are selfish and rude, they are out for themselves and don’t care who they step on and yet the Lord says to love them. Not only does he tell us to love our enemies He tells us to do good to them, to bless them, and to pray for them; to do this even while they are hurting you. He tells us if someone slaps you on one cheek to give them the other, (this I’ve never seen anyone do) If someone sues you give them more than they sued you for, and if someone forces you to go one mile go two. (For all of these see Matthew 5:38-44).

Okay Lord, I understand you have given me knowledge through Your word that I am to love my enemies no matter what, but I did not have wisdom because I did not understand why. Yes for a while you can endure and love your enemies but without the wisdom only the Spirit of the Lord can give it is difficult and you can become angry even when you do not want to be. I am a believer by faith in Jesus Christ, He has paid the price for all of my sins past and present; on the cross shedding His precious sinless blood, so I owe Him my very life. The name of this blog is “A Slave of Jesus Christ” and that is exactly what I am. He bought me at a high price, the price of His blood and He is my Lord. He being my Lord; my heart’s desire is to honor Him in everything I do. Yet people can be so ugly and mean. People do things purposely to hurt you. People love themselves and could care less about those around them. Whoever is not around at that very moment is being talked evil of by everyone else. Lord, how am I supposed to show love in this evil world when people are so ugly to one another and why? He gave me an answer and the answer surprised me.

The answer came as it always does, through His word. I have been intently meditating on the gospel of John, and in my morning bible reading I had been reading through the letters Paul had written to the churches, and a verse was used in a movie my wife and I were watching, then the next morning I read that exact verse and then it suddenly became clear to me as to why we should love our enemies. Our struggle is not with our enemies at all, it is spiritual. Over and over again in the gospel according to John, Jesus is speaking spiritually and the people are thinking physically. That was my problem, I was thinking physically and my Lord is speaking spiritually. The verse that brings this whole thing to light for me is (Ephesians 6:12) “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our war is not with flesh and blood, it is not with people at all, but it is with the dark forces of evil. No matter what a single person on earth says or does to you, his or her sin is not against you, it is against God. His or her sin is between them and God, not between you and them. Does it hurt to be slapped? Yes. Does it hurt when people say evil things about you? Yes. Does it hurt when your closest friend or spouse turns their back to you or even cheats on you, steals, or lies? Yes. But their sin is not between you and them; their sin is between them and God. David understood this when he said to God in prayer, “Against you and only you have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4), after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband.

Our reaction to these things are deep and spiritual, probably more deep and spiritual than anything else in our lives except for a saving faith in the only begotten son Jesus Christ. When people do evil and hurtful things to you, God says to love them. My reaction and your reaction to these things are spiritual and are the things of God. To be angry and hate is to give oneself over to the dark forces of evil because that is exactly what Satan wants. To love is to give oneself over to the spirit of God because God is love. This helps me to understand how and why the believers in the early church could endure such extreme persecution and brutality and continue to spread the word of the Way of salvation in Jesus Christ to the very people who were hurting them. This helps me to understand how Jesus could say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). So the next time someone does something that hurts you remember this. Their sin is not between you and them, it is between them and God, and your reaction is Spiritual. Remember, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven.” (Romans 4:7)
I hope God blesses you,
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ