This morning on the way to work, I prayed blessings for my enemies (by name) and loved on them! I’ve actually been doing this a lot lately; praying! Praying for people who conspire against me; the ones who try to use me.
Take a look at this difficult scripture meant not for the enemy, but the ones who call themselves Christ-followers.
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.Luke 6:27-36 (ESV)
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Red Letter words that we often forget about coming from the mouth and heart of Jesus. Verses 32-36 got me really hard in my feels today as I was thinking about the last few months. Some really hard and challenging text to read but even more so to live. Loving our enemies is important as we mature in Christ and establish his kingdom in our life and on Earth.
Remember the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Kiss of Judas was met with the heart of friend. How could it be in that moment, that Judas the betrayer, was indeed friend. I often wonder about the passion of Christ to know by name and deed, the one who would betray him. To know that the person he had spent 3.5 years with would betray him. To understand fully that when he recruited Judas as a disciple, he would be signing his death warrant. But Jesus still showed up everyday. Jesus still encouraged, befriended and defended. It is the posture of a “true friend” to love no matter the offense or offender. We can learn a lot from the motives and actions of Jesus.
Loving our enemies DOESN’T mean that there aren’t real issues going on or that the problem is fixed and swept under the proverbial rug. It means that we move forward, walk in forgiveness, and ultimately turn them over to God. That every pain, hurt, disappointment, and struggle is now in the hands of God.
So yeah.. I loved my enemies today and everyday. Prayed for them by name. I have even blessed them and their endeavors.