Love Your Enemies

1 Samuel 24:11

Father may you be able to examine my life and know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my heart toward others.

There is a saying, it goes like this, "resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." The author is unknown, however, it has gained popularity through a variety of people over the years. The first time I heard it, I stopped to think about how much poison have I ingested while waiting for the other person to suffer? Although I may not have wanted the other person to die, if truth be told, I most likely would have been satisfied to see them be punished for their offenses toward me.

On the surface, it seems that resentment is justified as it is a natural/flesh reaction to an offense or betrayal by those we love and even more so when we're afflicted by an enemy. However, in the book of Hebrews, 12:14-15 God calls us to 14 "Pursue peace with all men,...15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled."

Did you notice that God recognizes that a root of bitterness has the potential to defile many? When we're offended, oftentimes, we share the offense with others hoping to gain their loyalty and to build a case against our offender. There is a good reason for God to call us to pursue peace with all men. God knows that bitterness is like poison and it will only lead to unnecessary suffering and even death if we don't deal with it properly.

Throughout scripture, God calls us to, "love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matt 5:44

God asks us to love our enemies through actions, "to feed them when they are hungry, give them drink when they are thirsty, He warns us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good." Romans 12:20-21

Closing Thoughts

Instead of building an army to defend our case, we are called to "clothe ourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 1Peter 5:5 God sees from heaven when we do good and not evil and He rewards us with His loving kindness.

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

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