I have found out something interesting during the past week. I have an enemy. I won’t go into the details, but someone actually tried to cause me personal harm that would have affected my life greatly if they had succeeded. I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I don’t think most of expect to be attacked on a daily basis. I’ve gone through several stages of emotion over the past few days and I’m not completely where I want to be yet regarding this. Hopefully I will get there completely soon.
One of the things that has helped is this blog post from Desiring God. It discusses how enemies are something that we will never have in Heaven. So, if we are going to love our enemies, we must take the opportunity to do so now. But why should we love our enemies? I know most people would say, “Because Jesus said so”, and that’s fine. That’s good enough for me too. But I also want to bet to the heart of why.
I’ve been studying 1 John lately, and one of the main themes is that love for fellow believers is a mark of a true follower of Christ. That shouldn’t surprise us. Everyone understands that. We learn in the story of the Good Samaritan who our neighbor is and that we should love our neighbor. We understand that. But why should we love our enemy?
Simply speaking, without me doing a full development of it, without Christ we are all enemies of God. We might not realize it. We might not believe it, but we are. And what did God do for His enemies? He loved them. He loved them so much that He sent His son to die for them. He suffered for them. He paid the debt for their salvation.
So, where does that leave me? If God will do that for His enemies, what choice do I have? I have to love them, don’t I . God is love. So, since He loved me, who was once His enemy, I love my brother, my neighbor and especially my enemy. Simply said, I must love.
Do you have an enemy? Do you love them?