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love your enemies
Loving your enemies can be a very hard concept to understand. How could God expect us to love those who hurt us, mock us, ridicule us, make fun of us and so many other things? It’s because Jesus gave His life for His enemies: us. We were His enemies until He saved us by dying on the cross.
We are created to love like Jesus.  Loving like Jesus means giving up your rights. Loving like Jesus means giving up the right you think you have, to carry the grudges against someone who has wronged you. Carrying grudges only causes you more pain in the long run. It isn’t healthy.  Mathew 5:38-39 says, “You have heard that it was said, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. But I tell you do not resist an evil doer. If someone strikes you on the right cheek give them the left cheek.”
Leviticus 19:18 says “do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your own people but love your neighbor as yourself.”
It can be very difficult to love everyone as you love yourself too. You may feel that not everyone deserves the same amount of love. If God didn’t think we were all equal, we all wouldn’t have the free gift of salvation that He gives us though, either.
If someone wrongs us, the first thing we may think of is how can we get even with that person? But getting even will only cause more harm than good. If you choose to get even with someone after they’ve wronged you, you are choosing to let your emotions control you, rather than you controlling your own emotions. You are also giving Satan the upper hand in your life.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather give all of my feelings to God, than have Satan make me feel like hurting someone else, just because they hurt me. It can seem like a good idea to try and get even with someone for hurting you for a few minutes, but think about the fact that if you ever get even with someone, it could have potentially deadly consequences. It could even ruin your life. You don’t want to ruin your life that God has helped you build up, just for a few minutes of getting back at someone, do you? It mays seem like more fun, and easier than letting God handle it, but in the long run if you give up your emotions and choose not to hurt the person back, then you are doing the right and the mature thing. You cast your feelings aside, and forgive the person as well as move on with your life.
Mathew 5:41 says, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” This means extending yourself to others no matter how they treat you. It can be very difficult but also very rewarding. Helping those who hurt you is like reaping hot coals upon their heads. Plus it can give you a good feeling inside.
Mathew 5:42 says, “Give to the one who asks you. Do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” This doesn’t mean giving someone one thousand dollars if they beg or ask for it, but it means being willing to help a poor person out who may not be able to afford a meal. Or to help someone you see struggling with a simple task, such as shoveling their driveway in winter or mowing their grass in the summer.
God also says to carry one another’s burdens in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ in Galatians 6:2. You may ask, “how am I supposed to carry my enemies burdens especially since they’re the ones that caused me my burdens? Why should I carry my enemy’s burdens?” Well, newsflash- God technically shouldn’t be carrying any of our burdens either. But He did and He does carry them for us because He wants us to have a healthy, content and happy life.  He loves us and loved us enough to die for us.
Roman’s 12:19 says “Do not take revenge my friends…for it is written it is mine to avenge. I will repay says the Lord.” Loving Jesus means surrendering your pride. We have to let go of our selfish pride. It is said if someone wants your coat, give them the shirt off your back as well. Mathew 5:45 says “He causes the sun to rise and set on the good and the evil. And sends rain on the just and the unjust.” God will take care of those who wrong us, but we need to learn to let Him handle it instead of handling it ourselves.
Loving like Jesus means surrendering our service. We have to be willing to go the extra mile for people. Even the people who hurt us. If someone needs your help, offer it to them with an open heart and an open mind. Even though it is at times very hard to go out of your way for people, be the person who does the right thing and offers to help them, with no expectation of receiving something in return. Be willing to help anyone that needs your help at any time. That’s what Jesus does.
Loving your enemies doesn’t mean you actually have to risk your life or die for someone you may not like too much, though. It just means showing a Godly example to those who may hurt you.
By loving your enemies, you are doing as God commanded. By praying for those who persecute you, you are helping people in ways that you can’t even fathom. By being willing to go the extra mile, you are loving the way God expects us to love., You’re loving the way Jesus first loved us.
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