By: Cindy Stepanek
Do you ever wonder what the people thought when Jesus told them to love their enemy and pray for those who persecuted them? (vs. 44) I wonder, but I also have to ask myself what this means in my life. I was born in the 1950’s. Although I never tried any of this stuff, I grew up in the 60’s and 70s’ the time of LSD, free love, hippies and all that jazz.
What is love? As I prayed for direction and clarification, researched and reviewed what I learned about how God loves us, I realized that over time we have distorted what love is.
To love your enemy is to care for them deeply even though we have differences and failures. It doesn’t mean that I should manipulate others or coerce them to see it my way. I am a Christian. I am to look beyond their actions and genuinely care for them as a person. I am required to do what God tells me to do no matter how I feel about it. When I genuinely pray for the enemy, also known as the other person, I release them to God’s justice so that He can deal with them. This takes the responsibility from me and allows God to work on my heart also. To love my enemy is a choice. It is a heart issue that only God can deal with.