By Zach Benware
We have lots of trouble with our enemies. Most of the time they make us angry, jealous, and often times depressed. We try to avoid them because we don’t want to encounter the negative emotions that come along with them. God wants us to treat our enemies with love and respect.
Luke 6:27-28 tells us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless them, and pray for them.” Matthew 5:43-48 also says that if we love those who love us what reward will we get? Remember it’s how we treat our enemies that make a difference. Probably the one thing that stops us from becoming friends with our enemies is loving them. However, Jesus tells us we are to love them.
When our enemies have problems sometimes we feel like we want to laugh at them and tell them ‘Good luck getting out of this one!’ But, this is mean and a sin. Proverbs 24:17-18 says: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; or the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn His anger away from him.” God tells us not to rejoice when our enemy falls but to help them and to treat them with respect. “If your enemy is hungry feed him. If he is thirsty give him something to drink, and he will feel ashamed for what he has done to you.” (Romans 12:20)
Our enemies often times seem bigger and better than us and they are the bully in our lives. God tells us that we should never be afraid of them because he promises protection and he delivers us from them. (Psalm 18:48) In Romans 12:21 God tells us never to overcome evil with evil but to overcome evil with good. And to also never seek revenge on those who persecute us. How do we do that? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44 to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” That word ‘pray’ is the answer to the problem. We do not need to get revenge on them, or show them the pain that they gave us. What we need is prayer. Ask God to help them find the one they need in their life and that is Jesus. Also, pray for yourself that God may give you the strength to overcome them and show them the good in you and in your Lord Jesus Christ. This is the way we are to treat our enemies, not with anger, violence, or jealousy but, with love, kindness, and respect.