Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Actively Loving My Enemy

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven" ~ NKJV Matthew 5:44-45

These are Christ's words to His followers.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES... okay, sounds difficult and certainly not my preference but I can chose to love my enemies by God's grace. So far, it doesn't sound like I actually have to interact with them.

BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE YOU... okay, again, sounds difficult and certainly not my preference but I can chose to bless those who curse me by God's grace. I think I can ask God to bless them and still not have to interact with them.

PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SPITEFULLY USE AND PERSECUTE YOU... I can pray for my enemy and never actually interact with her.
BUT this is the one that stopped me dead in my tracks:

DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU... DO GOOD? Now this sounds extremely difficult, if not impossible, to actually do good to my enemies. This requires I interact with them. Now it's personal. It is going to cost me something to do good to my enemy as God commands.

In reality, all of these components of Jesus' words require a change at the level of the heart. If I genuinely seek to love my enemies, bless those that curse me and pray for those that spitefully use me - I will be seeking ways TO interact with them and do good unto them.

Will it cost me? You bet.

It will cost me time, requiring I sacrificially give it when in my heart I'd rather be doing something else.
It will cost me pride, requiring I humble myself.
It will cost me self-protection, requiring I trust Christ to be my guard.
It will cost me effort, requiring I go out of my way to find ways to serve my enemy.
It will cost me self, requiring I be more concerned with their needs than my own.
It will cost me the satisfaction of being right (if I am), requiring that I value God's glory above my own.
It will cost me in intention, requiring I seek ways to do good to them rather than ways to avoid them.

Does it cost us to follow Jesus? Absolutely, but not nearly as much, not nearly as much as it cost Him to make it possible.
Today, do good unto your enemy.


No comments: