I have been so challenged with the Kingdom principal of loving my enemies over the last ten plus years…
My automatic, human response when someone hurts me, betrays me, or treats me bad is to either react back, or withdraw. But when I hold myself accountable to the Word of God, I find that my only options are to forgive, love and bless those who’ve cursed me…to pray for my enemies, and to work toward peace in all situations.
In order to walk this out, my desire to “pick up my cross and follow Him” has to override the pain in my heart. My mind and heart has been wrecked with what this looks like and how to live this out when everything in me wants to, as James puts it in the Message translation, “find a way out.” But when I lean into my God, my Helper, my Fortress, and my Strength, and I choose to forgive like Jesus does, my heart becomes pliable to the things of Heaven.
Loving your enemies can only flow from a heart that’s been transformed by God’s overwhelming love, His Spirit within you, and the life transforming power of His grace.
This is a high call, family, and we can’t respond to the call without the Holy Spirit doing a work within us. It begins with a willingness to deny ourselves and learn what it means to wholeheartedly follow Him.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” —Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV)