I was in a season not too long ago, where I felt like I had many enemies that I had to face daily. I knew God had brought me to this place for a reason, and I could not understand why I had to be under such attack? My first instinct was to attack back. But instead, I asked God what He wanted me to do. Through His Word, wise Christ centered counsel, and through Christian teachings, I heard loud and clear, He wanted me to love the unlovable.
As people were scowling at me and mocking me (some to my face, and some behind my back), I had to smile and pray for them. People were tearing me down so they would look better. The more this happened, the more practice I got, until it became a little more of a natural response. Loving our enemies is not natural for us. We cannot do it on our own power, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I think that one of the most over looked Commandments in the Bible is the commandment to LOVE one another, even the ugly.We have kind of gotten into a “Love Rut”. We think love is a feeling, an emotion we only have to show when we “feel” like it, or we only have to show to those that love us. That is one of the greatest lies we are being fed.
Jesus showed His love for us by being brutally tortured to His death on the Cross for the sins that we committed. Love is a sacrifice; it is not just a feeling. You can make a conscious decision to love the unlovable. You can make a choice that you will practice LOVE and ask for the Lords help.
You have heard that it was said ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…….If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mathew 5:43-48 NIV)
As I began to pray for those who persecuted me, a couple things happened. One thing that happened was that God opened doors for them; He opened doors for them that took them away from me. He also opened my eyes to their hurt, their pain. Some of these people were being nasty to push me away, and when I stood firm (through Christ’s strength) and loved them anyway, they really opened up and we became close.
The best part was that as I started praying for my persecutors, instead of them having a negative affect over me, those who wished to hurt me were bringing me closer and closer to the Lord. Their harmful intentions were bringing me into the presence of my maker.
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)