Love us to those who love us, and may God turn his heart to those who do not love us, and if God cannot turn their hearts May we know them by pointing their ankles and limping.
I’m not sure that’s what Jesus had in mind when he spoke of praying for our enemies and blessing those who persecute us.of Matthew 5:43-45he said:
“You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'” love and pray for those who persecute you. ”
Are we taking the ironic way of praying for those who persecute us, relying on prayers of condemnation? Can we just say, “Love your enemies” and “Bless your enemies’ hearts” and move on?
Or is Jesus calling us to something else here? What is the real way we love our enemies?
Here are seven ways you can love your enemies.
1. pray for them
While this may not seem like the “real world” way to love your enemies, it is the first step to truly loving those you see as your enemies. Jesus clearly taught us to pray for those who persecute us.
When he says this he is not going to pray for their destruction or find a favorite implied prayer to recite. Rather, we see Jesus taking this as an example when he prayed that God would forgive those who crucified him.
It is difficult to pray for someone and hate them at the same time. It is difficult to hold or wish ill-will towards someone when you bring them before God’s throne. Yes they may have hurt you.
Yes, we may be victims outright. And yes, praying for them may mean praying for their repentance, it may mean praying to reveal their sins. But even in such cases, we are not praying for revenge, but for the Lord to bless them.
2.Be truly respectful and express yourself accurately
One of my favorite TV shows is Classic The Dick Van Dyke Show. In one particular episode, both Rob (Dick Van Dyke) and Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) tell their friends about a fight that happened last night.
In each case, one is the hero telling the story and the other is the villain. What makes this humorous is that we know our own temptation to portray our “enemy” in the worst possible light, and then make ourselves appear as charming and innocent as a dove. It’s from
One way to truly love your opponent is to accurately represent them. It should be done with respect. I think about this when I have discussions online.
Am I representing them in a way that makes them proud to own? If I tell another person my position, would I say, “Yes, that’s exactly my position”? Am I finding the best arguments for their position and cause?
We can love our enemies by doing so, but this is a difficult thing to do. Making a monster is much easier. Or maybe they really are monsters. In such cases, it can sometimes feel as if we are protecting evil by shining it in the best possible light.
But in reality we want the truth to be proven. Becoming a true human being by portraying the enemy in the best possible light can actually be a means God uses to expose the darker side of things (and this is also their darker side). for great profit).
3. Look for commonalities
If you’re interested in politics, take a minute to think about your political “enemies.” do they want happiness? Do they want their families to be healthy, happy, and safe? They want to make friends, have good relationships, live in peace, and have hope for a brighter future. do you want?
probably. After all, your “enemy” on the other side has the same basic desires as you. The difference is that there are opposing strategies to acquire them. And in some cases, those desires are even defined differently.
But this little exercise shows that we have a lot in common. One way to love your enemy is to find common ground.that’s part of what you’re looking at Matthew chapter 5.
God makes rain and sun shine on both believers and unbelievers. There is common grace, and therefore common ground. We can build from a common foundation.
4. Avoid bitterness
I was a little hesitant to include this statement because it is one that abusers often use to DARVO victims and communities. DARVO is an abusive strategy that denies, attacks, and reverses victims and perpetrators.
This looks like someone committing a crime against another person, deeply hurting them, and making up a story about that person’s terrible reaction (resentment) to the perpetrator.
Telling people to stop feeling bitter is an effective tactic abusers use to keep the conversation away from their guilt.
This is true, but so is the Bible. Bitterness really poisons us. The very root of resentment must be cut (Hebrews 12:14-15). One of the most pernicious things about spiritual abuse is the hijacking of truth for nefarious purposes.
Abusers sometimes use great tools to achieve the wrong ends. Surely we should try not to make our hearts bitter. And doing so is a way to practice love for your enemies.
Bitterness is a way of cutting hope from those who have sinned against us. It’s about giving up hope that the other person might change. It will keep them forever in a prison of sin.
Yes they need to repent. And yes, that repentance should be done before we start talking about reconciliation. But I must be aware of the danger of bitterness creeping into my heart.
5. Preach The Gospel To Them
The best way to love someone is to tell them about Christ. But this also affects our own minds towards the enemy.
Thinking of them through the grid of Creation, Fall, Redemption, Glory, or God, Man, Christ, Response changes their perspective.
We begin to see them as God sees them. This completely undermines my own definition of “enemy”.
Oddly enough, there are passive-aggressive ways we preach the gospel to someone. You can also keep your distance and take a cold stance. It’s like saying, “Jesus, help them, because I can’t stand them.”
This is a far cry from how the New Testament describes our ministry as reconciliation ministers. Our hearts should be broken and we should wait for their salvation and implore them to hold onto Christ.
6. Listen to them
Another way to love your enemies is simply to listen to them. Take an interest in their lives. listen to them. let them talk Why are they passionate about what they are passionate about? What peculiar ways of breaking down do they have in life?
First, it helps you gain a new perspective. But just listening to other people can be incredibly viral. Doing so will allow you to see them in a new light.
By doing so, you will know their unique strengths and challenges so that you can better love and serve them. What if “Hear fast, speak slow” is advice not only to loved ones, but also to enemies?
7. Highlight Imago Day
All people are created in the image of God. This means that in everyone’s life there are things we can encourage, even our worst enemies. What if we looked at others through the lens of hope instead of hate?
What if, instead of listing all the things we didn’t like about another person, we made a list of all the ways in which we could see the imprint of God in that person’s life? What if we deliberately encouraged these areas? do you want?
When we understand that all people are made in God’s image, we can see people for what they are. Our battle is not against flesh and blood. My “enemy” is probably not really my enemy.
And even if they make themselves my enemies, or make themselves Christ’s enemies, it is an accumulation of hurt and hurt images. God’s glory is about to be shattered in their lives. When you think about it that way, the way you interact with them changes.
Find out where God appears in their lives and emphasize it.
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