- Religion and Philosophy
Loving Our Enemies: A Test of Being A True Disciple
Loving Our Enemies : A Test of Being A True Disciple
“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 , that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven . He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous . If you love those who love you , what reward will you get ? Are not even the tax collectors doing that ? And if you greet only your brother, what are you doing more than others. Do not even pagans do that ? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Loving your enemies is one of the most difficult commandments of JesusChrist for his followers. Loving those people who makes your life miserable, those people who desire your downfall, those people who are considered as your rivals or competitors, those people who take away your business contacts or take away the attention of your love from you , or those people who backbite you and spread malicious rumors about you, is really somewhat an impossible task. With our flesh we cannot do it on our own, but we have to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
JesusChrist sets an exemplary model of loving our enemies. He washed the feet of his betrayer and he prayed for those who planned his crucifixion. Loving our enemies is a very difficult task for a Christian , but this love brings much glory to God. We cannot be considered as true disciple of Christ unless we have learned to love our enemies. It is a kind of love that involves dying to one self. It involves crushing of our pride and ego. What withholds us from loving our enemies. It is the pride in us that withholds us from loving our enemies. Loving our enemies is a test of our calling as a true disciple of Christ. It involves dying to our pride and ego.
Father God is the supreme model of this love . For the Father in Heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rains on the righteous and unrighteous. This shows God’s impartiality in providing his natural resources. He provides for the wicked not only for the good. He provides for those who violate his moral laws . He provides for those who does not honor him. He provides for the rebels. God is the ultimate model of loving oue enemies. And Christ demands that if we want to be perfect we must imitate our Heavenly Father.
Of course this task of loving our enemies and imitating our Heavenly Father is an impossible task for the non-christians. It is given to the regenerates, to the true believers of Christ who experienced being born of the Spirit. The religious hypocrites in Jesus time who take pride that they are able to fulfill the Law was astonished by this command for they consider themselves as true sons of God. But the truth is that they are still very far from perfection.
If we really want to please God , if we really want to get his approval, if we really want to give him glory, we must learn to love our enemies. It is not easy, it is a difficult task that requires daily dying to the self-life. But if we really want God to smile on us , we have no other alternative. Loving our enemies is a great display of our ultimate obedience to the Lordship of Christ.
It will not really be difficult if we will recall to our mind about ourselves being God’s enemies before we become Christians. We were once rebels, transgressors of his divine law, adverse to all his ways, every inclination of our thoughts is detestable to the holy God. Yet God love us, Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. If we will only realized how great is our indebtedness to God, then it will not really be difficult to forgive and love our enemies.