It was Easter Sunday and I was listening to a sermon about loving your enemies. It is a message we have all heard over and over.
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, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So, what’s new? Well… I was sitting there as the pastor said “Love your enemies. Really love them. Show them love.” In my head I was like, “no way.” I mean how could God really ask me to love people that have hurt me? Easier said than done. So I sat there…convicted… because this message really spoke to my heart. I realized that in order to free myself, I needed to pray for the very people who: betrayed me, wished me evil, envied me, talked badly about me, and left me. Because forgiving them was not enough… God called me to love, pray, and wish them well. It’s so much easier to forgive people and leave them in your past. However, I knew in that moment that in order to grow in my faith that I would have to love them. Why? Because God loves them. Truthfully, the moment you realize that God loves each individual equally, your whole perspective will change. You will end up getting over yourself because you are no better in God’s eyes than the homeless person down the street. If anything you are meant to help them because that’s what God has called you to do.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Here you see that it says that God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son… It does not say God so loved the rich, beautiful, successful, nice people… He so loved the entire world! That includes those who have done wrong – for we have all sinned! Therefore, we are no better than anyone else. It is our duty to love the unloveable as well as those who have wronged us. I’m definitely not a fan of it but I know I’m going to do my best to follow my savior. I want to be able to love my enemies and wish them well without having to force myself to do it. I’m making a choice to pray and wish them well. Join me on this journey and set yourself free from the pain others have inflicted on you. I promise you that God’s reward is much greater for choosing love.
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:8
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.