For many who read a passage in Bible where Jesus says “love your enemies” their response is that’s just crazy talk. How can anyone in their right mind love someone who acts harmfully toward you and those you love? How is that possible? Luke 6:27-36
If you are human, it doesn’t take a very long in life before you or I have offended someone or have been offended. Sometimes in our own ignorance we have unintentionally stepped on the toes of others. Likewise, we can also become the “enemy” of a person who knows nothing about us; we are crossing paths with someone who has other unresolved issues.
No, it’s not fair... but it is real life. Jesus’ answer to “love those who hate you” seems incredibly unintuitive. How is it possible to love those who are the antagonists in our life?
Perhaps it would be smart for us to define what love is. There are many facets to love and 1 Corinthians 13 will show us just how much room we have to grow in it. It also lets us know that without God’s help we would be helpless to practice real love.
While you may struggle emotionally with those who seem bent on tormenting you, ask God for the strength to “rise above” the situation to see it from His perspective. God can separate loving the person over loving their actions, and that's what He asks of us.
Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be best friends or have that person as part of your inner circle of trust. It does mean giving without concern for receiving. Ouch!
One definition of love is simply “outgoing concern for others”. There is a certain shock value when you treat someone respectfully who is not respecting you. But don’t expect instant results. It could take a moment or a lifetime for change. That timing isn’t your responsibility.
The real benefit for you, I, and those who surround us is we are growing in the character that God desires for us.
You truly can be a light in the dark.