Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you … Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:27b,35c (NIV)
Suddenly, in the midst of my quiet time, the words, “love your enemies,” jumped out at me. I read that verse many times, but that day they came alive for me.I continued to struggle with anger toward my former husband, but God was clearly telling me to love the one who had chosen to become my enemy. Further on in the passage, I noticed that I was to expect nothing in return for showing kindness to this person who betrayed me. Even if this “enemy” did not respond or change, God would reward me for my efforts to reach out with forgiving love. Jesus was teaching me about His unconditional love.
As God’s child, I was being encouraged to feel compassion for someone who had hurt me and our children. Returning good for evil might result in a change of heart in the man who had chosen to turn away from his family. Romans 12:20-21 speaks of doing kind things to enemies because those actions may bring about their repentance. Even if I detect no change, my responsibility before God is to “love my enemy” and forgive him. The rest is in God’s hands.Most of us struggle with forgiving someone who has hurt us, but God calls us to love those who have wronged us. How? We remember the forgiveness Jesus revealed when He died on the cross for our sins.
Father, teach us to love our enemies and forgive those who have hurt us.
© 2013 Diane E. Hussey