Approximately 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ said something pretty surprising; “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and
tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone
strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone
wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If
someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who
asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 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.” –
good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who
mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.
If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to
everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand
it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you only love those
who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love
them. And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get
credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay
you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a
full return. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without
expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be
sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be
merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:27-36
Another thing you can do to help you love your enemies is to see them not as they are now, but how they could be if God were to redeem them. I’m going to be honest with you, when I read the book of Acts for the first time I wanted to take Saul of Tarsus and give him a good hard punch in the jaw. He was a really unlikable character. But then he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and Jesus changed his life and changed his character (Acts 9:4-7). As I read of Paul’s journeys throughout the ancient world, I found myself growing quite fond of him. By the end of Acts, Paul became my favorite character of the New Testament save for Jesus Christ Himself. That made me realize something; what if I only ever saw the other side of Saul; the evil, Christian murdering Saul? I wasn’t fond of Saul of Tarsus but I was very fond of The Apostle Paul. With most people, we only see the evil side of people. We don’t get to see what kind of person they could potentially become. Instead of looking at them as they are now, try to see them as they could be if God were to regenerate and sanctify them.
When a Saul Of Tarsus comes into your life, try to see the Paul he could become. Try to look at the cruel man in your life as the kind man God could make him. Try to see the greedy man as the charitable fellow God could make him. Try to see the arrogant fellow who belittles you as one who treats you as an equal.
3: Think About What God Did To Save Them
If you have a hard time loving your enemies, try to look at them in this light; Jesus Christ, God in human flesh (Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1-14, John 10:30), became a human being and suffered one the top 5 worst ways to die so that the person you’re wishing ill towards could spend eternity in a state of infinite bliss (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). How can you hate someone who God went so far to redeem? That person who wronged you deserves to go to Hell yet God incarnate suffered Hell on his behalf so that he wouldn’t have to (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 9:6). He loves that person so much that He hated the thought of spending eternity with them. As the apostle John put it in his first epistle “….if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?“ – 1 John 4:20
*Several Reasons Why You Should Forgive People
*Did Jesus Command His Followers To Hate Their Family?
*Do Christians Hate Gays?
*The Doctrine Of Hell and Objections To It
*The 7 Deadly Sins