Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. He then said that after that, we need to love one another. Not only are we supposed to love fellow Christians or family, but we’re supposed to love our enemies as well. At the time, this kind of thinking was very foreign to the people. Even now, 2000 years later, people still consider it normal and ok to hate those who hurt us. Let’s take a look at exactly what Jesus said.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to those who hate us, and to pray for those who persecute us. That sounds simple enough on paper, but how many of us actually do that? You know the guy who cuts you off while you’re driving, or the guy who insults you publically, how do you act around them? Do you avoid them or gossip about them? Or do you pray for them, and be polite to them, and see how you can help them?
He continues in Matthew 5:46 saying that even the unsaved love those who love them. He was saying that it is nothing special to love those who love you, it’s far more important to love those who hate you. It sets us apart from the rest of the world because we love. If we just hate people back, we are no better than they are. Like the old hymn says, they will know we are Christians by our love.
It can be hard to love someone who hates or hurts us, but it’s the right thing to do. In the end, we can win people over by treating them with kindness, instead of repaying evil with evil, and we can gain a friend, instead of keeping an enemy.