How Can I Love My Enemy?

The Bible is very specific when it says we, as believers, must love everyone – even those we consider enemies. In Matthew 5:44 we read:

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Relying on God

This is not an easy task – especially when someone is actively involved in trying to bring you down, slander your name and hurt you. The best advice to love your enemies is this: Rely on the power of God and let His love for you help you love others.

When you concentrate on what God has done for you, and the fact that He has chosen to love and forgive a sinner like you, it makes it easier to face your enemies with sincere and heartfelt love. That person is just a sinner, like you. And just like you, the only thing that will save him or her is the same grace which was imparted to you by your Heavenly Father.

Reflect the Gospel

Just think: By showing love to those who persecute you, you are sharing the Gospel – without even saying any words. Your kindness and generosity in the face of their anger, hatred and deceit could be just what it takes to bring that person to the Lord.

Loving your enemies is not easy. But it is a commandment from the Lord. It would be too easy to love only those who love us in return. Consider it a God-given challenge to respond in love to those who do not love you in return.

Avoid Holding a Grudge

And of course, beware of holding a grudge or allowing any type of bitterness to cloud your heart and mind. There is nothing that will damage your relationship with the Lord more than letting bitterness overtake you. It can ruin your life. Instead, with God’s help and power, you can forgive those who have wronged you and live in joy and peace. It is a much healthier and happier way to live.

Finally, think of it this way: If someone is causing you pain and trouble and you just decide to let God take control and help you love that individual – who is in the hot seat then? Certainly not you. You are not feeling pain or hurt anymore. You are happy and free. However, the one causing you trouble is probably not feeling so well. He or she is the one letting anger and bitterness ruin his or her life. Let God deal with that individual His own way. In love, let go and feel the peace God will give you.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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