November 18, 2010
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Luke 6:35 ESV
Easier said than done, right? The practice of loving your enemy is laid out in more detail with the three verses before it:
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. Luke 6:32-34 ESV.
But how do you love your enemy?
Here’s an interesting verse to define love with:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV.
Now apply that to how you interact with your enemy.
Be patient and kind to your enemy.
Don’t be filled with any kind of envy, and don’t boast over them in any way.
Be humble, and respect your enemy.
Seek their way over your own.
Be slow to anger with your enemy, and forgive them completely.
Don’t take part with anything evil; instead, speak and live only the truth.
The NIV says that love always protects. To protect your enemy sounds crazy, but love does protect, and therefore we should protect our enemies.
We should bear and endure everything they throw at us, even going to the extent of trusting or believing our enemies because of our hope for them.
That is what it means to love your enemy.