Dealing with hurt and enemies can be one of the most difficult things to do; sometimes, you’re tempted to wish that misfortune comes the way of your enemies as a form of punishment. But just before the thought escapes your heart through your mouth, you recall that you’re a child of a loving God, so you pray that none of those things come upon them.
Several times you might be caught between asking God to avenge you of all your adversaries today, but tomorrow praying that the Lord forgives them for they don’t know what they do.
And as Christians it gets more challenging because beside our archenemy, satan, there are human cohorts who consciously or unconsciously have made themselves agents of wrath and vexation.They persistently fight against our faith and physical well-being.
In such cases, how do we react? What should be our response to their provocation? How do we deal with our enemies who vex us day and night?
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.
Matthew 5: 43-44 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Love your enemies as declared by our Lord Jesus Christ is a higher step in the ladder of love because it requires loving someone who isn’t a friend. Remember that Jesus had to make this explanation because the religious Jews had misconstrued the scriptures (Deuteronomy 23:3-8). They went as far as saying that God commanded them to hate their enemies. And by enemy they meant anyone who isn’t of their country and religion, together with fellow Israelites who weren’t their friends. What a misconstruction!
Let’s note that an enemy may not be a person who is repentant of his/her actions but is actively doing evil to you. This makes it more difficult to love them nor anything related to them.
But seeing that we desire to obtain the prize of the high calling of God, we must press forward towards becoming perfect in love. For if we love those that love us, bless those that bless us, greet only those that greet us, what do we do more than sinners? – Matthew 5:47.
We (Christians) are a special breed of people because we go the extra mile in love. And most times, it is forgiveness that brings the healing.
I know the thought of forgiving that person that made an attempt at your life or the lives of your loved ones makes you angry; I know that forgiving that man/woman that hurt you so bad and abandoned you with your new-born is difficult;
I’m aware that loving that person who sexually and physically abused you is simply unthinkable; I don’t even want to talk about that man/woman that has made your life hell, robbing you of the opportunities you had.
Forgiveness helps you deal with the hurt
Yeah, it’s difficult. But that’s why we are followers of Christ – people who were forgiven all and are willing to forgive others. People for whom Christ lost all to recover. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” – Matthew 6:12-14 – is an important prayer taught by our Lord Jesus Christ because it’s only a person that forgives that understands the value of being forgiven
Remember how many times you’ve erred and how God has always brought you back as the prodigal son – Luke 15. Recall how you went astray but God sought for you, cared for you until you were restored back to Him at the cross. Remember that God gave ALL (Jesus) to gain you. Think of that and let healing come to your heart.
Now, take a deep breath and allow your heart to empty her contents. Yes, let those tears out, let them flow. Let him or her out of your heart; let them go free. Wish him/her well.
Forgiveness is for the strong and I know you are. You’ve been through so much but holding them up in your heart only adds to the burden. Let them go.
God bless you.
Related Article: Love your neighbour as yourself: understanding the concept of neighbourhood
P.S: Love your enemies doesn’t mean that you must go out on a dinner with them or live with them. As we saw earlier, love has several components, including forgiveness. So, forgive them in your heart and sincerely pray for them.
God is just and will repay every person adequately. Like my Pastor says, ‘‘when God punishes your enemies, you’ll pity them’’ because He’s a righteous judge who no man can escape.
Leave them to God, for vengeance belongs unto Him – Deuteronomy 32:35.
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