Loving Our Enemies

Loving Our Enemies

  • It is common to have enemies in our lives.
  • It may not be difficult to forgive them, but loving them is certainly beyond us.  
  • Sometimes, we may not treat others as enemies, but we dissociate ourselves with them.
  • If we do not deal with our sense of contention with people we despise, we invite accusation.

 

<Luke 6:27–36>

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 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 children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

God first loved us despite our enmity with Him

 

Practically, how are we going to love our enemies?

* Not about having feelings of warm fuzzies and affection towards our enemies.

* In the Scriptures, “love” is defined more by a verb than a noun.

* Instead of struggling with the lack of affection, pray for them and seek their good.

* Remember, it’s not about being fake, but about obeying God.

 

What makes loving our enemies so hard that it is near to impossibility?

1) Problem of Retaliation

* Choosing vengeance instead of mercy.

* Jesus said: If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

* Do not return an insult for an insult.

* Practise sacrificial giving and love even with people who mistreat, coerce, or manipulate us.

2) Problem of Reciprocate kindness.

* <Ro 12:21> Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

* Cease to be calculative and fussy in every situation.

* <Acts 20:35> It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

The Lord promises reward.

* The Lord said: Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

* To be able to love, empathize, and be merciful like the Lord Christ is great reward.

 

Choose mercy, not vengeance.

* <Ro 12:19> God said: “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay, but vengeance is not ours”

* On public matters, there is still a legitimate place for the role of the state and judiciary courts, but seek transcendent excellence in Christian personal ethics.  

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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