Posted by: the warrioress | October 23, 2011

Loving the Unlovable

How can a Christian love her enemies? What about those who detest her and wish her harm because of her faith? How do we as Christians really find a way to love those who want to hurt us consistently?

It’s easy to feel sorrow for people whom we see  with sympathy but what are we to do when our enemies are abusing and mistreating us? What do we do when they are determined to silence and destroy our testimony? What do we do when we simply don’t like someone and think they are an awful person?

Living the Christian life according to the directions contained within the Bible is challenging and for the sincere of heart.  I think it could take a lifetime of learning to practice the principles set down within the pages of the Bible again and again.

These principles do not come to my heart naturally.  My nature is that of a warrior. Humility, forgiveness, and the willingness to do away with the pride of life is contrary to whom I was before finding salvation.  Years later, it’s still a struggle. I’m reminded of Peter who chopped off the ear of the guard who came for Jesus;  it’s probably what I would have done as well.

The world does not encourage meek, passive traits in human beings these days and Christians have to live in the world; still we are to pattern ourselves after Jesus Christ and His example; this is what God would have us do. How then do we find our way to truly loving our enemies?  The following reading sheds some light on this, for me anyway:

The assumption that is made in Christ’s teaching regarding our enemies is that we are hated or despised undeservedly (1Pet 4:15,16; Matt 5:11). That is, we are being persecuted for our faith, for his sake, and not for anything that deserves such a response. Before we attempt to apply the following principles to our relationships we should search our hearts and ensure that we have not created enemies by doing wrong. If it is possible that we have offended others and are ourselves guilty, then we should first seek their forgiveness. That being said, let’s look at the proper attitude toward our enemies.

Job did not rejoice when his enemies suffered destruction. A mark of godly character is to rejoice with those that rejoice, and to weep with those that weep (Rom 12:15). This extends even to our enemies. God said that those who are glad when they see calamities (disaster or trouble) will not go unpunished! (Prov 17:5)

Although David’s enemies brought false accusations against him, rejected his goodness and responded with evil, David did not respond likewise. He mourned when his enemies were sick, he humbled himself and even prayed for them. At the same time that David was praying for his enemies, in the same passage, he was also praying that God would judge them!

David was not willing to rise up against his enemies himself. He brought his cause to the Lord. He personally prayed for these men and their well being, while knowing at the same time that they needed to be judged by God. By accusing David falsely, they were actually doing damage to the name of God, in whom David trusted. David desired that these men would be judged so that God’s name could be cleared. As a result, his friends would magnify the Lord and David could speak of the righteousness and praise of God all the day long.

Each time Jesus was persecuted by his enemies, he did not respond in like manner. Instead, as our example, he committed his cause to God. God is the ultimate judge and we can be assured that when he does judge, he will do it righteously. When we fail to rely on God in dealing with our enemies, it is very likely that we will respond in emotion or wrath. By submitting to God as the righteous judge we protect ourselves from losing our testimony in a fit of retaliation. Our enemies expect retribution and confrontation. By submitting to God and responding in love, we immediately project character qualities that are different from what this world is used to. We create an opportunity for God to receive glory by our willingness to forgo our own glory. See also Rom 12:19

Stephen was able to respond to his enemies the very same way that Jesus did. How was this possible? He was filled with the spirit of Christ. A mark of spirituality in the life of a Christian is his ability to bear and respond well to reproach, criticism, persecution and hatred from others. When we become embittered toward our enemies or lash out toward them, we are acting in the flesh and not in the spirit (Gal 5:19-25). We must love our enemies.

http://tinyurl.com/2uexmwy


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Responses

  1. Love thine enemies. It is not easy because thine enemies might hate you and do not care, all you can do is to give the a wide birth, keep them at arms length or more so if you can and let them go.

  2. ‘Tis best not to make enemies in the first place, methinks.
    But if we must wage war, I’d rather it not be
    against our so-called friends.

    I wage peace. 🙂 To you, UT

  3. They will know we are Christians by our Love ~

  4. Thank you for the wise advice, Uncle Tree, Kenneth, and HpyLady! With Christians like you all helping me along, I’ll catch on 😉
    God bless you all.

  5. If they smite you on one cheek turn the other………….and then BAM, let them have it.
    It’s called tough love.
    The Gospel according Dave

  6. lol…. thank you, Dave. I will meditate on that one. (hugs) I hope you are doing well this late evening/early morning.

  7. […] Loving the Unlovable (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com) […]


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