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How To Love Your "Enemies"

A good old friend asked me, "is there anybody in your life right now whom you are not in good terms with?", "Nobody" I responded unconvincingly. Then my friend asked again, "are you sure there is n-o-b-o-d-y? How about your colleague, the one you told me about?". "Erm.  .  ." 

Then it dawned on me that I was erring. 

Loving Your Enemies

In this part of the world where I come from, we generally think that "enemies" are our "village people". People who totally mean harm and only wish the worst for us. Lol. Funny but not funny.

On today's article “your enemy” doesn’t just mean the enemy in your village, of course. We’re not talking about witches and wizards or the monitoring spirits (kidding!) . . . we’re talking about real people. So

Who is your enemy? 

Your enemy is someone you really dislike, in any way.

It could be someone who has picked on you or called you names or disrespected you in some way, causing you anger. . .

It could be someone you hold a grudge against. It could be a family member you’ve had a big fight with . . . maybe you’ve been angry at them for some time.

It could be someone who did something horrible to your loved one, from physically hurting them to hitting them with a car to scarring them from a damaging relationship.

It could be someone who swore to never help you. Maybe you've been disappointed by them.

It could be a teacher or a colleague or a boss who is mean to you or has been a bully.

You get the picture now.

Why should you love your enemies?

I posted on Twitter the other day,  "Lord help to love like you. Help me to love and pray for my enemies". Then I got a blunt reply from someone rejecting the prayer. "I can never love my enemies. How can I pray for the one who hates me?

I understood where the person was coming from. It can be a difficult thing to do. In fact, it is not humanly possible to love and pray for the one who despises us, belittles us, criticizes us, breaks us, and even kill us. It takes the grace of God.

"that's why you need God to help you" I replied.

The number one reason why we should strive to love and pray for our enemies is because God commands us to.

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” 
 — Luke 6:27

When Christians live this way, by God’s grace, we show something of what God's like. Love.

How do you love your enemies?

To love our enemies does not mean that we suddenly become their friends. If it is our enemies we are to love, they must remain enemies. Abi nah? 

Sweets, you just have to have some enemies. And if you have no enemies, I wonder if you have any friends oh. You better start checking those around you. They might be wolves.

My very good friend, Kachi taught me something profound about love. He said (although paraphrased):

 "LOVE IS ONE. The love you have for your mother is the same love you have for your husband. The love that we share is the same love with everybody else, only that THIS LOVE can be expressed in countless forms. The way I express love to my mother is different from the way I express love to my wife. However, it is THE SAME LOVE." 

I couldn't have enough of his perspective on love. The concept of 'Love Is One' won me over and over and over again.

In so many different contexts we use the word "love" that one may actually wonder what they have in common in all their difference, if anything: Love between teacher and student, love of parents for children, of children for parents; love of your dog or your cats, your country, your grandparents. Again, how different our love for a grandmother is from that for a grandfather, let alone love for a sweetheart. Is there a common denominator for all these varieties of love? Yes, indeed, there is.

To love your enemies might be purest form of it all.

There is a place in the Bible that says any man who claims to love the God he has not seen but actually hates a fellow man he has seen, is nothing but a liar (and a thief) and the truth is not in such a man.

Loving our enemies is what you must do. . .to prove that indeed love reigns in our hearts.

Let's go practical:

One time, "my enemy" (a colleague I don't like) was sneezing intermittently for about twenty minutes. If I was in good terms with this person, I'd have at least said "bless you" or "take care" but I didn't. The Spirit convicted me thereafter. I should have shown love.

Here's what to do. . .

  1. Show your enemies the genuine respect that every human being deserves. Learn to think of them with compassion and look on them with eyes of mercy.
  2. Wherever possible, show your enemies kindness. Do them as much good you can. At least, sincerely wish them well.
  3. Focus on issues and ignore your feelings. Don't change your mood when they step into the room. Smile like they were children.
  4. Pray for them when they need it (and even when they don't). It helps you grow to love them as it is nearly impossible to hate the person you pray for. 

See ehn, in this life, some people deserve our hatred, our anger, and our lack of forgiveness. But when we give people the evil they deserve, the person we are hurting the most is ourselves.

Forgive those who hurt you as God forgives you. 

That which God commands, only He can accomplish, including the command to love our enemies. What is impossible for man becomes possible for us who believe through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts.

May God help us forgive our enemies, love our enemies, and pray for our enemies. Amen.

Cheers to living life filled with positivity inspiration and love!

Is there anybody in your life right now whom you are not in good terms with?

Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
Let's connect on Twitter: @Amakamedia
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Heart Rays . . . giving light.

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