How to Treat Our Enemies
Whether we like to admit it or not, we will have enemies in our life. They will come in various situations throughout our life. Enemies are here and they will find us. There will be enemies in our families, our fellow students, our fellow workers, our neighbors and even strangers, and the sad truth is that we may come face to face with an enemy in the local church.
I am sure for most of us we always try to be kind and courteous to those we come in contact with. In this world though there are people that just seem to not like us. And they are going to let us know about it. They try to upset our life, make it harder for us to enjoy life, and seem to love to do bad things to us. We don’t want them to be our enemies but the truth is they are our enemies. How does God want me to treat my enemies?
Let’s begin by remembering what God is like. I John 4:8 tells us that God is love. God shows his love to all of us here on Earth. God loves us so much he sent his only son to die for us. God truly loves us because we are all made in his image. God commands his followers to also be full of love for all people, even our enemies. Matthew 5:44 tells us “Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Look closely at this verse. Jesus says to love, bless, do good and pray for your enemies.
God knew this would be very difficult to practice in one’s life. He shows us over and over again in the life of Jesus how to treat your enemies. His enemies continued to persecute him throughout his last years. It reached a conclusion when they finally nailed him to the cross. Through all these times, Jesus never sinned but loved his enemies and wanted them to be saved.
Ephesians 5:1-2 tells us “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ has also loved us and given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.” Jesus expects Christians to act as he did.
What should I do right now to love my enemies? I Thes. 5:22 tells us to flee all appearances of evil. To the best of our ability, stay away from your enemies. Keep praying for them to have a change of heart towards you and God. Remember that God is long-suffering and not willing for anyone to perish. We must also be long-suffering and hopeful for our enemies. Judgement day is coming and our enemies will be judged on how they treated others. Remember also we will be judged on how we treated our enemies. May we all be as Christ is, full of love for all.