Everyone has faced opposition from people around. Some enemies cheat, others lie and spread fake rumors about you. But how should a Christian respond to his enemies when they betray and hurt him?
An enemy is anyone who doesn’t want you to succeed in life. Some may be there in your family, some may be friends turned enemies, others are at the workplace. These enemies stir up all kinds of emotions ranging from hurt feelings, anger, frustration and defeat.
Here are 4 ways a Christian should respond to their enemies:
1. Through Prayer
We can all learn from Jesus who made a lot of enemies on earth when He boldly preached and proclaimed the word of God everywhere He went. And when they crucified Him on the cross, He even went to the extent of asking the Father to forgive them. “Forgive them Father for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
It’s unthinkable for some of us to even imagine praying for our enemies and here we have Jesus as an example of that. He was pleading to the Father to forgive those who tortured Him- the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman guards. Jesus is telling you and me today to pray for our enemies. saying “pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44b).
2. Show love to your enemies
The Jewish leaders hated Jesus because He was becoming more popular among the masses and had many followers. They even went to the extent to kill Him. As followers of Jesus, He expects you to pray for your enemies, and says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies” (Matt 5:43-44a).
3. Be good to your enemies
The Bible says that vengeance is God’s and so we’re not to respond to evil with evil (Rom 12:17). We are called by Him to be His followers and so we must do what He says to us to do. Jesus said; “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). We must go a step further in fact, as it is written, “strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6:29).
4. Bless your enemies
Instead of praying to God to curse your enemies, ask God to bless them. It’s not easy at all, but Jesus told us to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28).
We are told to bless them who curse us and abuse us. This is what Jesus demands from us today. We cannot do it in our own human strength. but need the grace of God to be able to do it.
Love your enemies and do good to them that hate you. Ask God Almighty to bless them. They will be shocked to see your response to their behavior when you respond with godly love at their hatred. That would allow the Spirit of God to penetrate their lives and bring them to saving faith. How amazing that would be. Amen