As with a lot of Scripture, I find that God will use a few verses to teach me many things. I think there are two sides to this passage. The person who is loving towards others and the enemy who is receiving the love.
To love someone who loves you back; to do something for someone who also does for you – this is easy. But we’re not allowing God’s full glory to be shown through us. When someone has done something to hurt us, it can be hard to forgive them; to forget and not keep bringing it up again. We only add to our own burdens by carrying a grudge. And most times the other person doesn’t even realize what they’ve done or said. We never know what someone is going through, or how their day started. They may be rude and hurtful, but your smile may be the only bright part of their day. If we can look past these issues then God can really be shown as Lord of our lives. If we take the higher road, the harder road, and just love on our enemy it makes it harder for them to keep fighting, and easier for them to forgive.
God gives sunlight to ALL and rain to ALL . In this way He can grow and stretch us, as well as correct and prune us. It’s not always easy, but we can take comfort in knowing that He is in control and allow His will to be done in our lives.
To love our enemy – also reminds me of the saying ‘we are our own worst enemy’. This can be so true. Satan will take any bit of doubt, self-loathing or low self esteem and use it against us so that we don’t feel worthy of God’s love, His time, or His forgiveness. Our confidence and faith in Christ is what people should see through all trials: good and bad.
To be an enemy and be loved – this is one of the most powerful ways I have experienced God. To have done wrong; hurt others, broken trust and relationships, and yet still received love, forgiveness, kindness, and friendship. God used the love of others, genuine love and forgiveness, in order to draw me closer to Him. He knows our hearts and even though we mess up; and sometimes He takes us down to what feels like below rock bottom, He has a plan for us. Your attitude towards your enemy; the fact that you took the time to stop and say ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ and then really want to hear and listen speaks volumes. When we make mistakes it is really hard to accept love, kindness, forgiveness, and grace, but God doesn’t let us go. I learned that He holds us tightly, close to Him, until we fully give ourselves to Him. Only now can I look back and see how much He uses others to show His love.
Be patient with your enemies. It takes time for them to accept your love and ultimately, God’s love. Just love on everyone.