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How To Love Your Enemies (Part Two)

 

Some confuse other people’s actions with who they are, and consequently judge them accordingly.  If they were to see someone doing something bad, they may tend to judge him as someone who is bad, even though they do not know what is in his heart.  They may simply have witnessed a weak or bad moment in the individual’s life.  It is easy to overlook that either what a person does may be a byproduct of the moment he is in, or it is the result of a lifetime of learning.  Of course, it may be the result of who he is.  For example, because a person is a sinner, he will sin.  That is what sinners do because it is the result of their fallen nature.  They cannot help themselves.  In fact, none of us can or could.  It in order for a sinner to stop sinning, he needs a Power greater than his self.  His nature needs changing.  As believers, we need to be compassionate to others.  We should recognize people’s needs, instead of assigning them fault.  Instead of looking down on someone, we need to help him up.  Consider Galatians 6:1-2, which says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (KJV).

Sometimes it is a very difficult thing to love our enemies, so much, so that we need the power of God to do it.  One aspect of God’s nature is His ability to properly discern a person’s condition, and assess what is in his heart.  He sees who they may become.  While on the Cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, KJV).  He recognized their condition.  The Word says that, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, KJV).  Not only did He take joy in sitting with His Father, He recognized who man could become –sons and daughters of the living God.  2Corinthians 5:18-19 says, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (KJV).

Without approaching love from a psychological point of view, it sometimes is easier to love the unlovable when we understand where they came from.  Life experience can be a harsh teacher.  It can teach people to be bitter, thus, making them very difficult to love.  Environments in which some people live can be volatile in respect to their view of others.  For example, some people are taught by their culture and/or their family to hate certain people.  Consequently, they become their enemies.  The greatest way to overcome hatred is to walk in love.  By virtue of past experiences, people will respond differently to circumstances in which they find themselves.  This is one reason one individual may respond to difficult situation with a calm demeanor, while another may react explosively.  People are taught how to handle things differently than others.  In some cases, it is “like father, like son,” or “like mother, like daughter,” and so on.

Some people are always angry because of deep seated hurts or fear.  They need healing.  As believers, we need to respond out of compassion for them; not criticize or reject them.  In some instances, some are under emotional duress.  Thus, those who are normally calm individuals may become easily agitated.  If we see such a person who we do not know, explode without an apparent reason, it would be easy to assume “he is a jerk.”  The reality may be the opposite of what we witnessed.  Simply put, the individual’s explosiveness is not who he really is; he is in duress.  Asking God for proper discernment and walking in the Spirit goes a long way in loving our enemies.  A person may consider himself to be our enemy, but that does not mean we have to consider ourselves to be his.  We ought to be the best friend he ever had.  After all, we are ambassadors of Christ, called to reconcile man unto God.  The question is: how do we represent Him?

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