What is an enemy? It’s someone who is against you. It is someone who is not for you. It can be a family member, a classmate, a co-worker, a neighbor, or even a fellow believer. We all have enemies, and Jesus is telling us to love them! How is that possible?
Well, keep reading, because the answer lies immediately after Jesus tells us to love our enemies. He says, “pray for those who persecute you.” Praying for our enemies makes it mighty hard for us to hate them or stay angry with them. Because when we start praying for them, God has a way of softening our hearts and we begin looking at that person as God sees him or her. God does a work in our lives. He begins to change our hearts when we pray for them. This is what Jesus does for us when we are His enemies. He prayed for us on the cross while He was paying the penalty for our sins. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Accepting Jesus’ forgiveness for us changes us so we will be able to forgive others who are our enemies.
Does that mean you’re going to like your enemies? In most cases, you’re not going to be able to change how you feel about how your enemy treats you. But it does mean that God can give us the supernatural power to love our enemies and to treat them with love no matter how they treat us.
Let’s follow Jesus’ example, in faith. When we give God control in this area, our enemies no longer control us.