It’s easy to love our friends. Just about everybody does that. It gets a little harder to love some distant family members. You know what I mean I’m sure. The old adage, “you choose your friends, you inherit your family” often applies. The real challenge, however, is loving your enemies. How in the world can a rational, sane person love an enemy? Let me set up a situation. If someone picks up a 2 x 4 and smacks you in the face, do you think you’re going to have “warm and fuzzy”feel for the person? Of course not. But let’s remind ourselves of what love is. It’s not a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s not “butterflies in your stomach.” It’s not a poem or a sonant. It’s not necessarily emotional. It is a choice. It’s a decision.
You may not ever feel emotionally connected with someone who has hurt you, but love can motivate you to decide to express love to someone, even an enemy. Let me suggest a few things that will help you. Loving an enemy doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend and invite them to your next social gathering. You may need to detach yourself from the situation to gain perspective. Seek to understand them. Put yourself in their situation. Why are they an enemy? Can there be some common ground with which to talk? Is there something you can appreciate about them? Pray and ask God to give you a heart to love them. Ask God to love them through you. It’s been my experience that God delights in answering that prayer. In the comments section, jot down some initials of people that are especially hard to love. Then write down your immediate strategy. It might be prayer, journal about it, choose to do or say something that could move your relationship one step closer to restoration.
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”