“But I say unto you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those that curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28).
Jesus commands you and me to love our enemies. This is not a matter of just thinking nice thoughts about those who hate us or trying to force a smile when we see someone who has mistreated us. It is not a matter of just minding our own business and trying to ignore our offenders. No, we are to actively love and do good toward our enemies. And, if that were not challenging enough, He tells us to bless those that curse us and pray for those who despitefully use us.
Jesus was not talking about people who accidently or unintentionally hurt or use us, but those who deliberately plot against us and stab us in the back to get something they want. It is easy to be kind and love people who are nice to you. The Bible says even unbelievers do that. But what should set Christians apart from others is that we love people who purposely hurt us. Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”
We need Jesus to do a heart change within us, to put the kind of heart within us toward our enemies that was in God who sent Jesus to redeem and forgive a world full of despicable people. That is what we need to love our own enemies as Jesus did. And if we will do good when we find opportunities, and bless our enemies instead of complaining about them, and pray and intercede earnestly before the Lord, God will begin to put love in our heart toward our enemies. Actual love, God’s pure love.