One of the most difficult teachings in scripture is that we are to learn to love our enemies. Yet when we truly understand spiritual laws, we can see how doing so benefits us. Ultimately, you want to be happy in life, right? Of course you do! Then it's wise to understand this counsel.
Covering this topic in depth could easily be an entire book. We'll keep it simple with just a few things:
First, who is your enemy?
Second, why would you love your enemy?
And third, a healing poem for loving your enemies.
But first, the teaching of Jesus, as recorded in Luke 6:27-28:
"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." (KJV)
Who is your enemy?
When you think of your enemies, what comes to mind?
According to the scripture, our enemies are those who hate us, who curse us, and who use us.
When I think of my enemies, I think of three categories of people:
- those close to me who have hurt me
- groups or people, or institutions
- aspects of myself
There are many wounds we hold in our hearts. There are many who we feel have caused those wounds. Perhaps there are even many that we feel need to suffer or be punished for the wounds we have received at their hands.
As we progress along the path of healing and personal growth, we eventually realize there are parts of ourselves that we don't like so much.
I'm not referring to the more superficial, critical voice we generally have in our heads...because that voice generally isn't truly ours, but comes from the voices of our youth.
Instead, I'm suggesting that we discover those parts of us that we truly dislike...the weaknesses and evil we all have within.
Why would you love your enemy?
There are so many reasons to list for why we would want to love our enemy! But let's start with this...
Imagine two men in business together. They've been partners for a long time and it appears that all is well. Then, one day, one finds out that the other has been stealing money from the company. Being hurt and angry, he decides to seek revenge by tearing him down with their associates. Now, the other man is hurt and upset at how he is being treated, and also decides to seek revenge.
This becomes a cycle of destruction, one man continuing to hurt the other, as if this will somehow make things "right." But of course, we know it will not.
Let's imagine this scenario a bit differently this time...
These same two partners are in business and all appears to be going well. One day, one partner finds out that the other has been stealing money from the company. Feeling hurt and angry, he decides to talk with his partner. By choosing this route, he creates an opportunity for his partner to apologize (to repent), and for things to be repaired.
Whether the man who stole the money chooses to repent or not is not the point. The important thing is that by choosing to love his enemy - to talk with his partner who stole the money - the opportunity for love and reconciliation now exists.
Love those who hate you. Love others, and love yourself. As we do so, we find the opportunity for healing. For repentance. For reconciliation. And ultimately, for peace.
A healing poem for loving your enemies
One way the Spirit speaks to me is through poetry. I don't write these poems, I receive them. It's a gift I'm so grateful for. I hope that this poem brings healing and understanding to your heart.
Division and contention everywhere
Come from Satan, not the true Heir.
Follow the one who brings in the Light,
Love your enemies, with all your might.
Send forth the truth from lips free from guile,
Embrace in a hug and let forth a smile.
Find common ground, as children of God,
You’re brothers and sisters, not separate mobs!
Divorce your heart from the one holding court,
Cut off the ties from similar sorts.
Turn instead to the One up above,
Who sees into hearts, and fills them with love.
His love is cleansing, His mercy divine,
The way back is glittering and shines.
Peace comes to all who come unto Me,
Repent of all sins, set yourself free.
May you be blessed with the courage to love your enemies. May you find peace and happiness in your life as you make the choice to forgive, to repent, and to reconcile.
How has loving your enemies changed you? Let me know in the comments below.