If our enemies were limited to someone who cut us off on the highway or a neighbor who continues to let his dog have free rein of our yard, then loving our enemies may not be a difficult task.
When we live in a world alongside terrorists and mass-shooters, loving our enemies as God commands in Matthew 5:44-48 can seem impossible. In fact, loving our enemies may be one of the most challenging tasks we face daily.
So what does it mean to love our enemies?
Consider Jesus. Jesus faced enemies everywhere he went and continues to face them to this day. He often showed love to his enemies by feeding them, teaching them, and treating them with compassion. He prayed for them and in the end, gave his life for them.
We too can love our enemies, but that doesn’t mean that we need to add them to our Christmas list or invite them over for dinner. It doesn’t even mean that we need to interact with them physically.
We must love our enemies, but it doesn’t mean that we excuse their actions. 1 Peter 4:5 tells us that everyone will have to face God in the end. We can open our hearts and pray for our enemies, knowing that God is still the ultimate judge. Not only does this act of love have the potential to bring our enemies to Christ, but it can be liberating, and Jesus is offering us a way to find peace in our own hearts.
Just remember that we too were once the enemies of Jesus, and he has chosen to love us. Jesus has asked us to complete a difficult task, but it is not an impossible one. Jesus wants us to be happy, and by opening our hearts and minds to everyone around us, especially our enemies, we can find true happiness.