There are many kinds of love. However, one kind of love may be more difficult to do or to understand than the others. That is the love we are called to do in Matthew 5:44. We are called to love our enemies.
Think for a moment about the people who may have hurt you. Think of the people who you dislike or distrust. Think of the people who may have been cruel to you or abused you at one time or another. Did you know that you are called to love those people? Yes. We aren’t just called to love family, friends, and neighbors. We are called to love our enemies also. Do you love your enemies? Do you love those who have been mean to you, cruel to you, and abusive to you?
I know. This might not seem logical to us humans, especially being surrounded by worldly reasoning which says the opposite. Worldly ways say something like, “hate those before they hate us” or “get them before they get us” or “if they don’t like us, we don’t have to like them”. Yet, worldly ways are not God’s ways.
So, why do we have to love our enemies? Well, God could just say, “because, I told you to” but He gives us other reasons as well. Let’s look at some of the reasons why we should love our enemies as Jesus tells in in the words of Matthew 5:44.
If We Love Our Enemies, We are not Murderers:
One of the reasons why we are called to love our enemies is found in 1 John 3:15 (KJV) which says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” God knows human nature. Killing someone isn’t always a physical act.
There are other ways of “killing someone” other than physically doing it. You can incite a riot to kill someone. In that case, words work on people’s emotions until they are caught up in the moment and get violent. Look at they way the crowd called for the murder to be released and for Jesus to be crucified.
People can act in a different way than they normally would or even want to act when caught up in the moment or feel pressured. Look at the way Peter denied Jesus. He was caught up in the moment and felt pressured, even when he didn’t want to feel that way.
We often hear that if we think positive thoughts, positive things will happen and if we think negative thoughts, negative things will happen. It is why we are concerned when a friend or loved one may start to have suicidal thoughts. We know that if the thoughts are there, the actions might not be too far away. There is a fine line sometimes between thoughts and actions.
Therefor, if we hate someone, we might not be far from saying mean things towards him or her or about him or her. If we say mean things about someone, we might not be far from being violent towards that someone. If we are being violent, we might not be far from killing. So, we are called not to hate at all, not even those who are mean to us.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a murder. To me, that is motivation for me to love my enemy.
If We Love Our Enemies, We Love God:
Another reason we are called to love our enemies is found in 1 John 4:20 (KJV) which says, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” If we hate our enemy, we don’t love God.
God is love. If we don’t love, we are not near or even around God. We aren’t thinking of God. It is like God is far away and out of our mind, if we don’t love others. So, how can we expect to be or say that we are close to God, if we don’t love others, even our enemies? If we don’t love, God is out of sight and out of mind. That is not where God wants to be. God wants to be close to us.
Even more than not being a murderer, I don’t want to be far from God. This is even more motivation for me to love my enemy. I know that I am called to be close to God and that is where I want to be. What about you?
If We Love Our Enemies, We are Children of God:
Still another reason to love our enemies is in the very same breath as Matthew 5:44. Yes, Matthew 5:45 tells us the answer as well. It says (KJV), “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Yes, as children of God, we are called to love our enemies. If we want to be considered children of God, we are called to love our enemies. God makes the sun rise on the good and the evil. He shows the same “Godly love” to enemies as He does loved ones. As God’s ambassadors and as God’s friends and family, we are called to show our enemies “Godly love” as well.
Friends, I get it. God’s Word is full of concepts that are difficult for us to understand and even more difficult for us to live, especially being surrounded by worldly people telling us just the opposite. If it were easy, we wouldn’t read about most of the people in the Bible NOT getting it.
Living by God’s Word and doing all the things God calls us to do may seem impossible at times. We do know that, “For God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37 KJV) So, let’s pray:
Thank you for your holy Word. Thank you for showing us the way to you. Thank you for loving us like friends and family. Thank you for showing us love and how to love. Help us to love not only our friends and family, but our enemies as well. Help us to love when we are hurt, angry, or confused as to why we are even called to love. Help us to love, when how hurt seems so enraged that it doesn’t feel natural to love. Help us to love our friends and our enemies, so that we may know you and be close to you. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read these similar posts:
*How Do You Show Jesus You Love Him?
*Do You Reflect the Love of God?
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