What does it mean to love my enemies? - Enemies - TouchPoints

What does it mean to love my enemies?

Romans 12:20-21“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.” . . . Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Showing love to one’s enemies is always unreasonable—unless you realize that you were once an enemy of God until he forgave you. When you love your enemies, you see them as Christ does—people in need of grace. Getting to that point takes prayer. You can’t pray for someone and not feel compassion for that person. This is how you can refrain from retaliating when that person hurts you, and this is how God can turn an enemy into a friend.

Proverbs 25:21-22If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.

Luke 23:34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

Matthew 18:21-22Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”

Luke 6:29“If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.”

Respond to your enemies—no matter what they try to do—with forgiveness. Your actions toward your enemies should include prayer for them as well as acts of kindness. Your words should be gentle. Your attitude should not be one of revenge or ill will. This is what Jesus would do. And this is what sets you apart from the rest of the world.

Isaiah 53:7He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.

1 Peter 3:9Don’t repay evil for evil.

Matthew 5:44“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”

At times, your best response to opposition is no response at all. By repaying evil for evil, you stoop to fighting on their terms and you cut yourself off from God’s righteous power.