ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Love Your Enemies And Survive The Experience

Updated on December 15, 2017
Carola Finch profile image

Carola is a Christian writer and author of several books. She writes about Christian living, the Bible, relationships, and other topics.

Source

Showing love to someone who opposes us and makes our lives miserable may seem to be impossible, but can be done with God’s help.

Jesus instructed us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, in spite of what they do to us (Matthew 5:44). The Bible also teaches us that we should do good to other people if we can. This is not easy - it is so tempting to strike back when they hurt us and take revenge.

David’s example

David was the wonder boy of Israel (1 Samuel 18 - on). He was the only one who had the guts to face and kill the big mouth giant Goliath. God recognized David’s potential by designating him as the successor to the throne of Israel after King Saul. David quickly rose in the ranks of the army, and God’s favor helped him succeed in everything he did. The women of Israel sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:5-7).

Source

King Saul, on the other hand, lost God’s favor through his own sinful behavior. He liked David at first. Saul enjoyed David’s soothing music, and sent him on missions. Saul even gave David his daughter in marriage.

In time, though, David’s success grated on King Saul like nails on chalkboard. Israel’s new refrain and David’s acclaim stirred a frenzy of fear, jealousy, and a murderous rage inside Saul. Eventually, Saul tried to kill David through various means and David had to flee for his life.

Imagine how David must have felt. He was innocent of any wrongdoing towards his King. David was supposed to be the next king of Israel, and yet he was forced to live life on the run. David refused to take revenge on Saul, however, even when opportunities to kill Saul came up.

Enemies in our lives

Our enemies may not be attempting to kill us, but they may be trying to ruin our lives and reputations by gossip, malicious acts, and complaining. Like Saul, our enemies are often driven to act against us by powerful emotions, like jealousy and covetousness.

There are many reasons why people become our enemies such as:

  • Our enemies believe that we have wronged them and hold a grudge
  • Bosses can become enemies - they can become very controlling and are frustrated when we refuse to lie for them or do something unethical
  • Co-workers resent it when we are promoted and subtly undermine us by complaining about us to superiors behind our backs or sabotaging our work
  • Enemies may look down us for what they consider to be on our lack of intellect, poor background, or lower social standing
  • Enemies may be driven by fear of losing something - Saul was fearful that David was more popular than he was and was probably worried that he would lose his position as king
  • Some people become enemies when they crave something we have, such as a job title or a good husband, and plot to obtain what we have

Source

Pros and Cons of Confrontation

When we realize that someone is our enemy, our first instinct is to make them stop their destructive behavior. We may choose to confront them in the hope that things might change.

Sometimes our enemies will change if our words move them to repent, but other times, they just won’t listen.

David snuck into Saul’s camp, and took some of Saul’s possessions to prove that he did not intend to harm Saul. David confronted Saul from a safe distance and presented Saul with the evidence that David could have killed him, and chose not to do so.

Saul repented initially, and then kept on persecuting David. In the same way, some enemies who are set on destroying our reputations or our lives will not stop persecuting us no matter what we do. In some cases, confrontation is not advisable and could be harmful. Confrontation may put us in physical danger of a beating or even death, such as a wife confronting her physically abusive husband. In this case, professional help might be needed to help her deal with and leave the situation.

Leaning on God to deal with enemies

When we try to deal with our enemies on our own power, we plunge into "deep waters." Sometimes we feel like we are drowning, barely breaking the surface to gasp for air until we get pushed down again. Our enemies are often too strong for us for us to handle. We need to ask God for help. He promises He will rescue us.

How to treat our enemies

Jesus encouraged us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44). The apostile Paul says that we should do good to our enemies, feeding them when they are hungry and giving them drink when they are thirsty. When we do good to our enemies, it is like heaping coals of fires on their heads (Romans 12:20).

We also need to forgive our enemies for the harm they have done to us. Forgiveness heals us from the toxic hurt and anger that their actions stir in us.

What can we do to make our enemies leave us alone? Most of the time - not much. David put the situation in God's hands and did not take revenge on Saul.

David leaned on God to deal with his enemy and the other enemies that were in his life. He recognized that in himself, he did not have the strength to fight his enemies, but that God would deal with them Himself (Psalm 18:16 – 18).

Bible Verses on Revenge

(Words of Jesus) You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:43-44

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. Romans 12:19

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you. Proverbs 20:22

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Isaiah 35:4

Accountability and Revenge

Loving our enemies does not mean that we just lie down and let them walk all over us. Our enemies should be held accountable for what they do, especially if they are brealing the law. This accountability may involve a confrontation such as David's faceoff with Saul, a report to a supervisor, or reporting a crime to the police. However, if these actions could put us in danger of bodily harm or other damage, we may need to first seek professional counselling or legal advice. Accountability is utimately about justice, and not revenge.

David had many enemies, and talks about them extensively in some the Psalms. Yet, he did not try to avenge himself.

When David’s own son Absalom attacked David’s armies to make himself the king of Israel, David ordered his men to make sure Absalom was safe (1Samuel 18).

When we treat our enemies well, we keep our minds free of negative thoughts, anger and a desire for vengeance. David was able to have a close relationship with Saul’s son, Jonathan,and was good to Saul’s family.

Source

Ultimately, we may be able to influence people, but we can't control them. We can only control how we react to them and pray for them.

If we rely on God, He will deliver us from drowning in deep waters of our enemies. Our enemies will also suffer the consequences of their sins against us. God answered David's prayers and delivered him from his enemies. David eventually became king of Israel. God will deliver us, too, if we ask Him.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Jennifer Suchey 

    5 years ago

    Excellent hub. I made myself read it when I saw the title because I am really struggling with an "enemy" right now. I'm 44 and never really thought of anyone as my enemy until this past year. That person is basically no longer in my life at all, yet I feel them everywhere I go and thoughts of what they've done to me did dig deep. As much as I don't want to think about forgiveness and "loving my enemy", and can't imagine doing either in my wildest imagination, I know I won't have any peace until I get to that place. Maybe your hub will be the first seed to get me there, so thank you. Voted up. ;)

    By the way, you need to fix "ruining" to "ruin" in the phrase "but they may be trying to ruining our lives. And you referred to the enemy as "them" and then "him" within the same sentence. I wondered if you meant to. I'm a stickler for this stuff, so thought I'd share. ;) Thanks again.

  • karenfritz profile image

    Karen Fritzemeier 

    5 years ago

    Great hub - David is such a good example for this topic. I really like the pictures you used---they go with the topic well!

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    5 years ago from The Caribbean

    Very good application of the Bible story. I agree with your perspective on this topic. "We can only control how we react to them and pray for them." Voted Up!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)