‘But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;’ – Matthew 5:44
This is just one of the many things that distinguish Christians from other people – the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts. For a ‘normal’ person, you love those who love you but Christians have received a higher love calling – to love enemies as well. The Bible says in doing so, we are being like our Father in heaven.
But many times we wonder who these enemies are and how exactly we are to show them love. I dare say that any person who seeks to harm you in one way or the other is an enemy. An abusive partner, an implicative colleague, a mean boss, that lecturer who for no reason has promised to let you graduate.
Now, anyone can have these people as enemies but being a Christian, there are many who will revile and persecute you however they can. Jesus did not say, ‘If men revile and persecute you’, he said, ‘When men revile and persecute you.’ This means that as a Christian you are prone to enemies. The devil is our ultimate enemy but he works through fellow men as well such that they see us as enemies. In the bid to do right in a society where wrong is the order of the day, you will get enemies because you, by your righteous acts, will only reveal just how wrong others are, and they will despise you for it. For example, the uprightness of Jesus annoyed the Pharisees and made them His enemies.
But the Bible gives us the perfect solution to this enemy problem and it is love. Love never fails. Love covers a multitude of sins. It bears all things. Love is patient and kind. Everything that love entails, do for your enemy. I once heard Aremo Olalekan say, a heart of love is forged in the place of intercession. If you are finding it difficult to love a person, open your mouth and pray for them and soon you will discover compassion for that person fill your heart. Pray for your enemies. That is how to love them. If Jesus asks us to, then you can be sure that it is worth it.