How to Love – Part 3
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
In previous digests on love, we discussed how we have Gods love on our inside, and how through prayer we can stir up this supernatural love within us. However, there is still some air around this issue that needs to be cleared, and it’s regarding who we are supposed to express this love to.
Our key scripture shows Jesus speaking, and He explains that we are supposed to show this love to everyone, whether they are friends or we perceive them to be enemies. The funny thing is, He even asks us to pray for our enemies. Praying for someone is one of the most amazing ways to show you love that person. It shows genuine love, because no one can see you do it, you can’t boast about it, but the person being prayed for would experience God’s touch through your prayer. Jesus is asking us to express this same love to those who may stand as enemies. Here Jesus wasn’t even speaking of assumed enemies or make belief enemies or superstitious enemies like some people have, but He was very intentional about enemies that you know are your enemies, and they know they are yours as well…in the text He spoke of those who would persecute you. Yet He asked us to pray for them as a show of love.
I’ve heard some people say that Jesus wasn’t specific about the kind of prayers we are to pray for our enemies, suggesting that we could pray negative prayers for them. Well, we shouldn’t forget that these prayers are supposed to be a show of love, and there are some characteristics of love that they seem to be forgetting:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged
This shows that love does not in anyway wish evil on anyone, so if your prayers do wish some kind of evil, then it shows that it does not stem from love. See what Jesus said to His disciples:
John 13:35 – Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
What makes their love so unique that the world would take notice of it and identify that this is the kind of love only a disciple of Jesus would express…see were He then makes the distinction:
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
Do you see this? When we act this way, we are acting just like God our Father, who wishes good to everyone.
Thank you Jesus for your gift of love. Teach me to walk better in it, amen.
Author – Gem