I am struggling with loving my enemies. Can someone suggest ways I can go about obtaining genuine love for those who seek to destroy me?
Matthew 5:43 - 48
NKJV - 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
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I've also struggled with this issue at various times (I'm sure we all have at one time or another), and I've found that the advice given in Matthew 5:43-48 is very sound advice. Praying for those that hurt you truly works. Admittedly, it can feel "fake" at first, but when you choose to do it over and over again, God meets you as you continue to obey His commands. God wants our hearts to be clean, and He works with us when we take Him at His word and apply His principles in a practical way. When you pray for your enemies, my advice would be to pray genuine blessings over them as Matthew 5 instructs us to do. It's hard to explain, but there is something about choosing those deliberate words of blessings that releases healing and forgiveness in your own heart. Your enemies may be well-deserving of retribution, but God knows that and it's His job to take care of that part. He says in Romans 12: 19, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." The scriptures seem to indicate that your duty is to bless, love and forgive your enemies and to trust God to deal with them as He sees fit in His superior wisdom. I hope this helps.
The first step that you can take in dealing with your enemies is to forgive them. Yes, it will be hard and human nature dictates that we must get even. But it is God's ways of dealing with our enemies that we must follow. Mark 11.26 is a bible passage that will be especially helpful to you "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Also, keep in mind that they have their problems just like you do and are in desperate need of God's help. If your enemies have great animosity towards you, their heart is not right with God and they most likely have not sought out salvation. It is important to pray for their salvation, though it will feel odd for you to do so. Eternity is too long for anyone to know that they are wrong, even if they are your worst enemy. The next step then is to repent of any wrongdoings you have done, then ask God for help. And be as honest as possible with him when asking for help. Ask him to help you to give you the power to deal with things that are beyond your understanding. And as it is written, he who asks shall receive, but you must ask in great faith. God knows how to fix every situation and this is one that he will have no trouble dealing with. Good luck to you! :)
Something that helps me is meditating on the fact that they are (or have the potential to be) the children of God, too. Sometimes when I feel animosity toward someone because of how they have treated me I hear the Father say, "I love that one, too. They are important to me." My love for God helps me feel the love he has toward them. Out of the respect for the Father's love for them I find it easier to love them myself. An example in the scripture is David and Saul. Saul was trying to hunt down and kill David. David, knowing God had chosen Saul and loved him, chose to return kindness to Saul and his sons. It was David's fear of God, his love for God, that made him choose to respond this way.
It is hard to forgive, especially if you honestly believe that this person does not merit forgiveness from you for whatever. But what has helped me is realizing that this needs to be done, it's the Lord's will, not yours, and you need it done in order to gain peace and be able to go on. Ask the Lord to do the forgiving and take the whole issue from you. Whomever he/she is, is probably not at all worth the discomfort it is giving you. Remember you do have to love, but you do not have to like or hang out with. Focus on your relationship with Jesus and let all else hang where it may.
i have struggled with it.. mathew 5:43-48 is the most adorable teachings of jesus that displays his loving heart yet the hardest to follow.. so how to?? 1)realise u r a child of god!! and his children are calm and composed.. so take a deep sigh look to god and KNOW YOUR CLASS!! U R AN ELECT!! behave upto it!! 2) you may not react and think u had forgiven them, but given an oppurtunity the anger may come out and totally make u guilty so ' when u have a revenge oppurtunity or deny a help to the person and ur flesh is tempted.. MAKE AN INSTANT 5-10 seconds PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO TAKE OVER.. remember he is a precious gift won for u on the cross!! he is with u always so admit it! and ask him to remote control u 3) PRAY and THINK OF ALL GOOD EVER DONE BY THAT PERSON.. and this is the most difficult part but keep trying and wen u cant, surrender to god and ask him to help u with this.. 4)DRAW LOVE FROM YOUR LOVE SOURCE! THINK OF ALL JESUS HAS DONE! give a big smile and KNOW THAT U HAVE GIVEN THE REVENGING PART IN PERFECT HANDS.. HE WILL EXALT YOU AND PUT THEM TO SHAME!! HE WILL GLADDEN YOUR SOUL WEN U WAIT!! 5)if you FAIL.. CONFESS,PRAY AND SHED GUILT.. you know he loves you too much to not forgive u in failures!! He will teach you and bless you in all ur shortcommings.. remember in your weakness his glory manifests
When we are hurt....it is hard to let go of the pain. Our flesh will hold onto the hurt and pain....then a bitter root grows from the unforgiveness and then anger sets in...the depression. When we sin we can't be forgiven cause we haven't forgiven others. Ask yourself...is it worth all of this? The person we don't forgive isn't feeling any pain. So I have learned to let go of the hurt/pain and forgive. Forgiving them doesn't mean I like what was done to me...It means that I am in obedient to Father God who has forgiven me of my sins and how I hurt him when I sin. Give it to Father God...let him deal with what was done to you....He knows all about hurt and pain,yet He forgave His enemies. He set examples for us to follow. He forgives us.
The only thing that has ever helped me to forgive someone that hurts me is to find a spot away from everyone, kneel before God and cry out my pain, anger, hate, whatever, and tell God I know he wants me to forgive those who hurt me, and ask him to turn my heart around that I can glorify Him. Then I ask God to bless this person and guide them to come to know him personally. Then everytime that person comes to mind I pray what comes to my mind.
You may need to change your perspective. Since Jesus came we have no enemies that are people. Jesus said love your neighbor, talking about people. So who is our enemy, the bible calls him the devil. He is our enemy not people. I also am aware that we do have what we call enemies when we are at war. They are still people. If we examine what God has done it does make it easier to love people, so if we can believe what the bible says then that will help us, so lets look at some verses. 1 Tim 1:14 4 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. NIV Gods grace is not only on Paul but on us as well, and in this grace we have faith and love. The love to love others. 1 John 4:7-12 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. NIV Rom 12:17-13:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. NIV These are some scriptures we can practice, we must also subdue our flesh and make it do what is right, it takes time and training. Flesh must die, and we need to kill our pride in order for these things to occur more easily. Keep calm and God on. <:)
If you have enemies of the spiteful malicious type, then this confronting assault can be overwhelming at times. "Know how you feel" What I do is try to think about how blessed I am and how cursed they are. Not pridefully, but from a view that they are controlled by their selfish sinful nature and have no idea of the price they will pay for causing one of Gods little ones to sin. Math 18:6 says it all, God is not amused, and those little ones are not young children but those who fear God and belong to him that desire to do his will. Here it's clear that God is angry with the unmerciful and uncaring. Use this as an anchor for the soul, God bless.
Also consider two things. Although you are innocent remember they are sinners also and you in some minor or even larger way may have negatively impacted someone else's life. Second and this was hardest for me before I returned to Christ you can use their time to show and act and conduct yourself in a Christian manner so as to provide a positive role model in hopes of showing them how grace actually works. Put yourself in their shoes and you may discover that you can help lead them to peace - Jesus Christ
God loved us while we were his enemies destroying Him, and that includes both you and people that are trying to destroy you. All of us are born in rebellion as enemies of God because of our sinful nature. We all desperately need a Savior (Romans 5:10). So why are we not loving our enemies as God loved us is the question? It's the dna of flesh and the mind of flesh Romans 8:7 The answer is in the love of Christ; we love Him because he first loved us - 1 John 4:19. So the key is to receive this love believing in His word, which will make us love God and build relationship with Him, and from there this love can flow onto others in our obedience to His word. 1 John 2:5. The gangster kid that is normally condemned by most of today's "christians" is actually His child that he died for, just as He died for you and me. I heard a quote from Todd White regarding this that i really like "What you believe about God, what you believe about who you are because of God, and what you believe about what you have because of life of Jesus is everything"
I love God the most. I want the BEST life for myself and that is what God wants for me. Hate, Anger, Vengeance and Unrest are not part of my "best life". And I easily am moved by others to feel those sinful emotions and to be in unrest...So when I fail to Honor God's "best life" for me, I stop, ask Him for forgiveness, strength to start anew and ask Him to help those that hurt me. By giving them up to Him I move the focus Satan wants me to have on MY hurt BACK to my relationship WITH CHRIST. I can keep going refreshed, not perfect, but yet strengthened for another day. That's all we have anyway right now, with the Holy Spirit. We don't have to worry about tomorrow, because we might not have a tomorrow. Live in Christ NOW. One day we will be home with Christ and the struggle will be done. All my love and Peace to you. AMEN
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