Love your enemies.

Luke 6:27-36  “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to “sinners”, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your  reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Let’s dive into this powerful scripture:

When Jesus says “love” in this particular scripture, he is talking about “agape” love, which means love out of concern for others and is speaking on unselfish love. Love that doesn’t serve yourself. This love is a choice and an act of the will.  It is universal love or love for strangers.  Extending yourself for the sake of others. Not to be mixed with brotherly “phileo”, which means love between friends. Thus, this is where boundaries come in. You do not have to trust your enemy or love them as you would a friend.

Loving your enemies is having their best interest at heart, and praying for them. They probably need help most in some situations, if you think about it. Praying for them, and find ways to help them. They have rights and deserve respect too. We need God just as much as they do, and we are no better. We need Gods forgiveness just as much as they do.

People that offend may need love the most. God calls us to love, for He is love. Jesus was sent to seek out the lost and the broken. He calls us to do the same without being taken advantage of or falling victim. God loves everyone, but hates evil. You can show God’s love by forgiving and not letting these offences effect you. Pray for them in their trials. You can love them but not like their behavior.

When you have hate in your heart this causes bitterness. God desires something better for us. You cannot live an abundant life that Jesus has set out for us in bitterness. God calls us to a peaceful life, not a vengeful one.

By not acting the same way as those who have wronged you, makes you overcome, and be the “bigger person”. You are overcoming their offence. Being good to your enemies does not mean letting them treat you wrong by no means.  It means you have a boundary where this behavior does not effect you in a vengeful way. “Vengeance is mine thus saith the Lord”. Because God is just. Romans 12:19 We are merely human. You are a conqueror when you do not act vengeful, but rather act out of love. When Jesus says “turn the other cheek”, He is not talking about being a victim of assault, He is speaking on not taking revenge. Let’s be honest, when you take revenge, and act the same way, you are adding fuel to the fire, and going in a vicious circle. There is a better life than this. This accomplishes nothing.

Why does Jesus say “lend to your enemies”! This is where action comes into play. Our actions show if we really mean it. We are supposed to give as though we are giving to God, and meet specific needs. People are more important than money.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you”. Luke 6:31. I love this powerful scripture. Do not treat people how you would not want to be treated. This is a great moral for me. This is otherwise know as the golden rule. We are treating people the way we would want to be treated and not the way we think they should be treated. This is grace. Jesus has shown us grace by dying on the cross for us, to reconcile us with God.

What does Jesus mean when he says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” Luke 6:32 You show strong character when you choose to have agape love. You show God’s character. You show strength. Agape love does not seek repayment. God will reward us one day. Agape love is God’s character, and we are to be like Him.

Be merciful. God desires us to be like Him. God desires you to forgive since He forgave us. Love others and do not condemn them. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 The people who put Jesus on the cross were ignorant of his accusations. God demonstrates his willingness to forgive sins, and his mercy.

Some other powerful scriptures.

The LORD is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6 (God will protect you). 

He has overcome the word.  “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”. 1 John 4:4

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Aim higher. God is greater than this world.

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

― William Shakespeare

 

The act of forgiveness.

Forgiveness sets you free. Free from anger and bitterness that is keeping you from living a fuller life. You can not live life to the fullest if you are weighed down by anger! Forgiveness stops the control that others have on you and your deep inner thoughts. It is a lot of work to be angry. When you realize that this person no longer can control you, and your thoughts because you are angry, this is where freedom comes. Forgiveness is where the saying “Don’t let people get the best of you”, comes into play. Think about it. 

When you are angry at someone for what ever reason, you keep playing in your head what they did. This anger is unproductive, and is weight you down. 

You cannot control what other people do, but you can control how you react. Do not be weighed down by grudges. You don’t carry a burden that is not mean for you to carry. You are not responsible for others actions, so don’t start taking responsibility for what they do. . You do not need to waste your time being angry and seeking revenge. This accomplishes nothing, and is a complete waste of time, while you could be doing something better. 

Do not let the offence happen again, and don’t be quick to trust people. People are not perfect, and people are in fact going to hurt you. We are all human. We are selfish in our innate self. When we are angry we are using our primitive brain, not or evolved brain, which is higher functioning. We are better than this, and capable of more. 

 Have boundaries with people and be assertive. Assertiveness is standing up for your existence. Don’t apologize for being you. Do not let people walk all over you. Don’t take things to personally. 

Set yourself free. Forgive those who have hurt you. Learn, and move on. Use every bad experience to learn from. Think about ways to apply boundaries to not let the offence happen again. Do not let the chains of anger hold you down, and move on to the next best thing. There is higher ground to be climbed in life, than this! 

We can constantly improve. Do not let anger from past offenses keep you back. Forgiveness takes a huge weight off your shoulders. Do not give too much of yourself for people to hurt. You are worth more than this and can do better! There is always room for improvement, and there is always lessons to be learned! 

Forgiveness

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I seriously struggle with this. I think it is my pride, and fear of being hurt, or my loved ones being hurt.

I think this is weak of me. I think I would be better off if I would forgive. I wouldn’t be as angry, and would have less depression. Sometimes I think to myself “Some things don’t deserve forgiveness”.

However, if you look deeper, you realize that by harboring a grudge you are being brought down.

Just try to forgive but do not be hurt again, and look out for yourself and others. Don’t expect certain things out of some people, and remember that you cannot control others but you can control your own actions, thoughts and feelings.

I know that anger and grudges are bringing me down, I could do better, and not be slowed down by these things.

I would be a lot free it I let the grudges go that inhibit my peace…