Luke 6:27-38. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who slander you. The values of the kingdom of God are paradoxical to the world. The world believes in reciprocal relationships – loving those who love you, doing good to those who do good to you and being generous to those who are generous to you. Jesus calls us to love our enemies.
An enemy is someone who stands in opposition toward you and desires your harm physically, emotionally, spiritually or socially. Loving an enemy is different to forgiving a brother – although the two actions may look similar. Forgiveness is a response to a person repenting and results in a restored relationship. An enemy is not forgiven, in the sense that they do not repent, seek forgiveness nor is a restored relationship possible. So loving an enemy may look like forgiving a brother in some ways e.g. not retaliating but in fact they are very different actions.
What does it mean to love your enemy? It does not mean that you trick yourself into imagining that you feel warm gooey feelings. Loving is defined by the parallels in this passage, that is loving is to do good toward others, pray for them and be generous toward them.
This may seem difficult but the means of doing so will be discussed in the next post.