Matthew 5:43-48 (CEB)
43 “You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you45 so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete.”
One of the biggest obstacles people struggle to overcome is when Jesus made the statement, “love your enemies.”
How is this even possible?
It really boils down to why are you loving others. Do you love others, because of what they can do for you, or because you desire to show the love of God to them?
If you are loving to be loved in return you will NEVER be able to experience true love. Your love is conditional. I will only love you, if you love me. We see this happen with our relationships with friends, family, and even God.
“I will love you, unless you betray me”
“I will love you, as long as you do what I want.”
“I will love God, as long as he keeps me from trouble.”
Love like this is not actually love ,it is selfishness. God calls us to a pure love that says: “I love everyone, not because of what they can do for me, but because they are the image of God.”
When we love someone, not for what they do, but for who God created them to be, it changes how we love. All of a sudden we love others, even if they hurt us. We love others, even if they get the promotion. We love others, even if they vote differently than us. We love others, even if their skin, nationality, or religion is different than us. We love others, even if they blew something up!
Is this kind of love possible?
Not through your power, but you have submitted to the power of the Holy Spirit and that has made all the difference.