MATTHEW 5:44-45 NLT : “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.”
We all have people we don’t like-and people we really don’t like. You might even call them your enemies. Whether it’s a long-time rival, a bully at school, or someone who always mistreats you, it’s easy to return hate with hate.
It was accepted in Jesus’ time, much like ours, to love friends and hate enemies. But Jesus takes what’s accepted and puts a radical twist on it by saying we should not only love our fiends, but also our enemies. And just as we pray for our friends, we should pray for our enemies. Not spiteful prayers demanding justice and vindication, but loving and kind prayers for the people who mistreat us.
If we hate our enemies, we’re just like everyone else. And we’re not supposed to be like everyone else! God wants us to be distinct from the world, pointing others to Jesus by what we believe, think, say, and do. So what enemy can you pray for today?
Jesus, it’s not easy returning kindness for hatred and prayers for pain. But You know that. You were treated horribly during Your ministry. and You loved and forgave. Help me to have Your spirit and strength to do the same. Amen