Love Your Enemies
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:43-48
Key Verse: Matthew 5:44
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
A believer in Jesus who wants to truly model Jesus’ lifestyle must learn to be others minded. In our scripture for today we see that people who live this way treat their enemies differently than a person who puts himself or herself first. In my opinion, a good definition of enemy is someone who, in the moment, is hurting or frustrating you. This may not be a long-term enemy, but that is what enemies do, they hurt you. The reason I think that definition is important is most of us know how we are supposed to treat enemies: Pray for them.
If you obey the command to love your enemies, you may treat them better than your spouse or co-workers. In other words, it helps to remember that when your spouse or coworkers are hurting you or frustrating you, treat them like an enemy; love and pray for them. At that moment they are acting like an enemy—at least that is how it feels. This is a hard command to obey! It’s easy to get upset or angry, but it is hard to love and pray for someone who is hurting you.
A person who has decided to be others minded remembers that it is OK for another person to win an argument. It must be OK as a Christ follower to be treated unfairly. It feels like we are getting the short end of the stick, but Christ followers know the rewards come later. To say, “I am others minded” means I love and pray for my enemies.
Father, when I’m feeling hurt, please remind me how Jesus was hurt and never deserved it. In Jesus’ Name, amen.