The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people. â€“ G. K. Chesterton
Who is your enemy? You know the person â€“ the one whose very name spikes your blood pressure. The person you avoid if at all possible. The person with whom you have full-length, imaginary debates while showering.
Iâ€™m almost certain someoneâ€™s face came to mind as you read the above paragraph. I donâ€™t know â€“ call it a hunch â€“ but I think this person might be your enemy.
As a new creation in Christ, what are we supposed to do with our enemies? Do we endure them? Do we defeat them? Do we educate them? Or can we ignore them?
These are great questions.
In Luke 6:27, Jesus speaks into this very question. He says, â€œTo you who are listening I say: Love your enemiesâ€¦.â€
Noooo. Surely He didnâ€™t mean it!
If you arenâ€™t listening to Jesus, then youâ€™re in the clear. You can endure, defeat, educate, and ignore.
But if you are listening to Jesus and if you desire to grow in your walk with Him, then Heâ€™s talking to you. And to you who are listening, He says, â€œLove your enemies.â€
Did you notice Jesus made the word enemy plural?
He knew we couldnâ€™t live in this broken world without accumulating a few enemies along the way. Jesus doesnâ€™t question whether or not we have enemies. He assumes we have enemies and instructs us to love them.
Jesus, loving my enemies sounds a lot more difficult than ignoring them, and a little less entertaining than spiting them. But if love is the way of Your Spirit, Iâ€™m willing. Love through me. Free me in my relationships from resentment and pain. Amen.
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Renew your spirit for the year ahead!