“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your 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…”
Jesus again turns our natural thinking on its head. This ‘love” is agapeo – which is not an emotional love but an act of the will. It’s a one-way, no-strings-attached kind of love that flows from grace and mercy. God has the right to command us to this because He did it for us.
We are to show this love through prayer. When we pray for our enemies, or anyone for that matter, we find it easier to love them. It takes the “poison” out of our attitudes. This will give us a mark of maturity, proving that we are sons and daughters of our Father. If God shows mercy on His enemies by sending sun and rain (everyone gets the same benefit), we should do the same by reflecting the character of God as His children. This suggests that our love “creates a climate” of blessing that makes it easier to win our enemies over and steer them toward the Lord.
Replacing hate with kindness,
Pastor Gerard Deleeuw