Loving Our Enemy
“35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get
anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High,
because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is
Luke 6:35 – 36
The English writer G. K. Chesterton noted:
“We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbor.”
And how true this is. Last week we looked at loving our neighbor, no matter who they may be. Often our friends can be our neighbors, but sometimes the neighbor may be our enemy. So, when John told us to love our neighbor, as we discussed last week, we are to love everyone which if we read between the lines would include our enemy. So why is it so important that Luke add his verse of loving our enemies?
Perhaps if we look at love as God does as ‘Agape’ we can learn the truth Martin Luther King, Jr. taught:
“Agape is disinterested love. Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and
unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes.
Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friend and enemy; it is directed toward both.”
Agape love is an all-encompassing love like God’s love for His creation. But what does “disinterested love” mean?
It is a love that holds no strings, which has no boundaries. As noted, an all-encompassing love that finds grace for everyone.
When we love with Agape, we learn how to “do good to them”. It is so much more than kindness. It involves a forgiving grace that allows for the enemy to be who they are without our judging them.
When we look with Agape toward our enemy, we no longer see an enemy or fear them. In fact, we find it easier to have faith in He who is the Creator of all. When we look through the eyes of Agape, we are seeing through God’s eyes and we see His creation. With this view we then, as King says, “makes no distinction between friend and enemy”.
Luke tells us to “lend to them without expecting to get anything back”. This lending is not just in the form of finances as one might suppose it is in being honest and faithful, caring and trusting, friendly and kind, even loving them.
We are to give to our enemies without the expectation that any action we take will change them. It is not our place to judge them, but to be understanding of who they are and to work to be examples of who they can become. We do this with the understanding that we may pay the ultimate price, but we do not dwell on that, but eagerly step out in faith that God’s justice will prevail.
Further, Luke tells us that we have a reward as the children of God. When we step out in faith and trust that our God is mightier than even the vilest enemy, we are rewarded.
God looks on our enemies with kindness because He is a merciful God. After all He sent His Son for the salvation of all mankind. Even the wicked and evil are God’s children and when we look at our enemies with Agape, we open ourselves up to be merciful, just as our Father is merciful. This, in the end is our reward. This is our mission. This is our role as the children of the Most High.
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We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.