The Business of Loving People
As Christians we are to be in the loving people business. It’s easy to love people who love you, but God’s love is displayed when we can love the unlovable. This is true in our homes, in churches, and in our communities. Jesus says this in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Love is much, much more than a feeling. Love is an action. In our passage above Jesus doesn’t say, “Have a warm fuzzy feeling toward your enemies!” He says, “bless them…do good to them…pray for them…” These are three ways that we can begin to love the unlovable. 1) Bless them – I believe this is in reference to the verbal war that we can so easily get sucked into with (or about) our enemies. Don’t curse them, but bless them with your words. Refuse to talk negatively to or about them. James 1:19 provides some additional wisdom on this idea. If we were more quick to listen to one another than talk about, or at, one another, I think we would find ourselves being less quick tempered with one another. 2) Do good – put your love into action and do something nice for the person. Bring them a cup of coffee, mow their grass, or take them to dinner. If we’ll act like we love them, we may find that our feelings of love will follow. 3) Pray for them – put the person on your prayer list. Ask God to work in their heart. Also, ask that God would enable you to view them in a new way – to see beyond the exterior and into the hurting soul beneath. Prayer may be last on this list, but it is first in order of importance. If we can do these things toward our enemies, I believe God will reward us. Not only will we receive a reward in the hereafter, but we will find our life more rewarding in the here and now. Loving your enemies takes you to a new level in your spiritual maturity. It makes you more like our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:48).