”But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45)
It does not come natural to us human beings to love our enemies. We just can’t do it. It does not tally with our understanding of righteousness. But when Jesus describes how we are to deal with our enemies, he tells us to overcome enmity with love.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in one of his books: ”The benchmark for a disciple’s behavior should not be how other people treat a person, but how Jesus treats them. His behavior has one source alone – the will of Jesus”. And Bonhoeffer asks: “Who needs my love if not the one who lives in hatred? Who has the right to my love if not my enemy…the more hostile my enemy is, the more he will need my love.”
Jesus doesn’t only ask us to resist evil, but to love our enemies. This is only possible if we live in close contact with the source of love – Jesus - and if we are led and motivated by the Holy Spirit. “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” (Romans 8:3).
Lord, help me to live close to You. Teach me to love like You. Use me as a tool for Your love today.