Love Your Enemies.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by LysanderShapiro, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Matthew 5:43-45:
    "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

    This is possibly the most difficult commandment from Christ. It is rare that I do this. In fact, I often dwell on my annoyance and dislike for certain people.

    Most of us (at least I do) try to find rationale for not liking certain people. We may even try to divide love from like. "I love them, but I don't LIKE them..."

    Even on this forum, I've had moments of holding back when in conflicts with others. Another enemy I struggle with loving are those I don't fact, that can be even more difficult, whether they be domestic politicians, foreign politicians, or homicidal criminals.

    We often talk about their wrong-doings...and we ought to because justice is something to be sought out...but how often do we pray for them because we genuinely love them? How often do we pray that their state of minds are OK despite what they do?

    I fail at this constantly, and I rarely pray for my enemies. It is a real struggle of mine. We ought to remember to pray for this same love Christ had for those who crucified Him, because the more I think about it, after He told us to love our enemies, I suspect I would have wanted Him crucified too.
    KingJ, Where is the Messiah, TezriLi and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  2. I'm right there with you, LysanderShapiro. I tend to avoid people as much as possible. I know I shouldn't, but as a Network Manager, I sit in a corner office next to the server room, where few people travel. In church, I am a big part of the video ministry and sit in a small room, again, where few people travel. I am reminded of a "Peanuts" cartoon I read decades ago where Linus wanted to be a great doctor. Charlie Brown told him he could never be a great doctor because he doesn't love mankind. Linus turned and said, "I love mankind, it's people I can't stand". I can relate to Linus.....
    LysanderShapiro likes this.
  3. I mark your post as Winner.. Not that it is some great achievement.. I think the most important part I love about your post is the humbleness to accept that we are lacking.. The problem for me is, I don't show love to my enemies.. That is the first hurdle.. The second hurdle is in realizing I am not doing the right thing.. L always make my mind that the other person does not deserve it or there is no need for me to extend love or I am okay to take a neutral stand and so on.. Glad to see Holy Spirit is convicting on the second part.. Because once we get over that, then love will flow automatically..
    Where is the Messiah and LysanderShapiro say Amen and like this.
  4. I don't see how you can love someone that you don't know. It really doesn't make sense.
  5. I doubt we can ever really love anyone on the same level as those we know, but we make the same argument for those we do know but attack us.

    The way we can love those we've never met is to pray for them, pray for their well-being, and especially pray they find righteousness in God.
    TezriLi likes this.
  6. Nicely put.

    I found this video from a channel I like...

  7. It isn't an easy thing to do - love your enemies.

    But, if you truly love and pray for them, a miracle happens. They're no longer an enemy

    And the opposite is also true. The first step in turning someone into an enemy is to de-humanize them.
    Where is the Messiah and LysanderShapiro say Amen and like this.
  8. Great post. It made me wonder though, when we pray for them, what exactly should we be praying?
  9. Excellent! Something I want to think about.

    My first response, upon seeing the title, was, "I have no enemies; I don't need this." Arrogant. And wrong! I need this thread, and I will read and think about it.

    I have had enemies in the past; I wonder if I am just hiding the truth from myself to think I have no present enemies.
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  10. Ah, here's where things get interesting. You can start with general prayer for their salvation, health, etc, but to really pray for them you must get to know them.
    Where is the Messiah and LysanderShapiro say Amen and like this.
  11. I think we should be praying for them the same way we might pray for our loved ones.

    "Dear God, please watch over them. Protect them, and help them come closer to you. Please watch over their families and keep them safe."
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  12. Yes, something that I pray for my love ones is for their salvation. I think praying something similar for my enemies would show love.

    But if I pray for my enemies to be saved, what does that mean? Am I praying, "Lord please save them." And save them from what?
  13. I suspect it would mean save them from damnation, the same way we may pray for our friends to be saved.

    On one hand it's difficult for obvious reasons. It means swallowing our pride. On the other hand, it's not like we forget our enemies. In fact, sometimes we can't forget them because we may get so angry with them.

    Basically, whatever we may pray for those we love, we ought to always include our enemies too.
  14. Would praying for them to be saved, take away from their choice?
  15. That's a good question. We would pray for the Holy Spirit's influence on them, and we typically pray for that when we pray for a change of heart.
  16. On the one hand we have this:

    1. Moses's pleading with God, saved the golden calf idolaters Exo 32.
    2. God does not hear the prayers of sinners John 9:31. So if we don't pray for them...God would never help / heal them.
    3. If God did not want us here, doing His work, we would not be here Matt 5:13.

    Then we have this:

    1. God is good and just. He does not make mistakes. He loves everyone equally. All the evil are alive because He has hope for them. If any evil man repented, He would be there listening and reaching out.
    2. God uses us , but He does not 'need' us. Nobody's salvation is on our head! If we fail, God replaces us with someone else. If they fail, God uses a donkey to spread His word.

    Conclusion: Praying for our enemies is part and parcel of our job down here / serving God. God regards our prayers as serious requests. We will judge angels one-day. What we bind on earth is bound in heaven. So, no pre-meditated / thoughtless / mickey mouse prayers for our enemies or any unsaved. If we do our job, God doesn't need to replace us with another Christian or ...a donkey.

    Just in reply to the OP. It is hard to pray for our enemies. I have thoughts about killing those who broke into my house and killed my dogs. But the thought of one of them coming to me and saying sorry is truly miraculous and outweighs my carnal thoughts quickly. I guess we just need to constantly remind ourselves of their potential to be a Christian and how precious that would be.
  17. Hmm I can't think of any enemies I have. Their is this one guy who works at the gym whose my age as well (21) and he makes Jesus jokes sometimes it really really gets on my nerves but Im always polite and kind to him and even lend him things he needs when he asks. I've been a good example of a Christian towards him and he still makes the jokes which is what started getting me angry. But on the other hand sometimes he does the sign of the cross and tells me "Jesus life" I dont know if its another joke or maybe he is showing respect? Thats really the closest thing I have to an enemy.
  18. Of course, we've been told over and over that love is a verb. So true. So instructional.

    Some of us have few enemies. I am one. What am I doing wrong, then? The Word says that we will be hated because of Him; in other words, we will have enemies. Alang, above, has proven an enemy.

    Well, as I have turned this over in my mind, I have realized, to my benefit, that I have enemies. Whew!

    But as believers, there are things we do to soften an enemy -- as Alang related in the post above. We are, indeed, loving them into the L-rd. If they are called, it will work; if they are not called, we are just "softening" them.

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