How Do I Love My Enemies?

by | Oct 25, 2014 | 31 Days Loving God Loving Others

Love your enemies.

Easier said than done for this girl. I have come to the realization I cannot love my enemies on my own.

I cannot love my enemies on my own

Yesterday we looked at what God says about this subject. God says we are to love our enemies. Period.

With this, the “rule follower” in me comes out. I want to do what God asks me to do, but how?

How do I love my enemies?

I find it’s no accident I’m writing this post today.

For the last five days, every single day, a specific person has been “popping” into my mind. This someone really hurt me. This someone also hurt my friend, and said some pretty awful things to her face. I don’t think I’ve ever heard words so hurtful. Ever. They continue to ring loudly in my ears, even though they were spoken some time ago.

Will I ever forget them???

I thought I had forgiven this person (even in the absence of an apology). But the thoughts I’ve had these last five days indicate I still have some work to do.

Matthew 5 44

Yesterday I prayed specifically for this person. I prayed God would soften my heart towards this “enemy.” I prayed God would help me forgive where I haven’t forgiven.

Because I can’t do it on my own.

That’s what my friend Brandi does. On Twitter she shared she prays for her enemies the way she wants to be prayed for. #hardbutsofreeing

Praying for our enemies invites God to be involved. It softens our hearts and attitudes toward our enemies, and the healing of hearts and relationships begins to take place because God is involved.

It’s hard to stay hurt, angry, and hateful toward our enemy when we’re praying for him/her.

Besides praying for our enemies, what else can we do?

What do you do to love your enemies?

A couple more ideas…

Do something kind for them.

Proverbs 25 21-22It may cause a change in heart, and God will repay you!

What is something you and I can do to bless our enemy? What practical way can we love them? 

A meal? A anonymous gift of money? A ride somewhere?

Another helpful thing to do… instead of recalling the bad, the negative, the hurt that you’ve associated with this person, think of the good. Recall the good things this person has done. The kind things they’ve said. The positive and uplifting things. And if you can’t think of any, ask God to show you.

Maybe the change in heart might be in my own. And that’s always a good thing.  

Pray. Bless. Recall the good.

Not the easiest steps to take in loving our enemies, but the most necessary for healing to take place.

How do you love your enemies? Do you struggle with this too? Would you share your thoughts below to encourage another? 

I’m thankful we can be real here together. I’m thankful we can share without judgment of one another. Friend, it’s good to know you’re here.

God bless you as you love your enemies today.

Julie

 

It’s Day 25 of 31 Days Of Loving God & Loving Others. All prior posts in this series can be found here. (Linking up with Counting My Blessings. There is some great encouragement going on over there!)
31 Days Loving God Loving Others

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Brandi

    Julie!
    I love this! Not only did you point me back to the Word of truth but you helped me find some practical to take it from my prayer closet out in real life. Thank You!!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Brandi, thank you for contributing to this post! I appreciate you doing so! You’re a blessing. Hope your weekend is going great, friend!

      Reply
  2. Betsy

    Amen, Julie! This is a good word here.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Thanks, Betsy! It’s always a joy to see you here!

      Reply
  3. Urailak @LivingforGod

    The word “love” used in Matthew 5:44 is agape. Therefore, we are to love our enemies unconditionally, selflessly, and sacrificially. You are right that we cannot love our enemies on our own. We need God to love through us. May His love in us manifest through us! May we never forget how God first loved us…the unloving/unloveable who used to be enemies of God! On Wednesday, I posted a similar topic titled, “How Shall We Pray for Our Enemies?” at http://bornagainandblessed.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-shall-we-pray-for-our-enemies.html .

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Thanks for stopping by today and for sharing! Have a blessed day!

      Reply
  4. Deb Wolf

    Without grace we would be so burdens by the weight of unforgiveness, our own and others. We are forgiven by grace alone, and it is only through God’s grace that we have the strength to forgive the people who hurt us. Sounds days it feels “good” to just be hurt and angry, but it quickly starts to eat away at our hearts and souls. I am so thankful for the grace that forgives the unforgivable in me, and gives me all I need when I don’t want to forgive those who’ve hurt me. Great post Julie!!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Deb! So thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness for us, and what a blessing it is to pass it on to others. God’s best for us and others is sharing that grace and forgiveness. Thanks for stopping by today, Deb. I appreciate your words of encouragement! Thanks for hosting the link up! Have a great week!

      Reply
  5. Laurie Collett

    Such an excellent post, Julie, on such a difficult subject. Our sin nature will not allow us to forgive and pray for our enemies, but the indwelling Holy Spirit can empower us to do that.

    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also: http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/
    Love in Him,
    Laurie Collett

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Laurie! Yes, I’m so thankful the Holy Spirit helps us do what we can’t on our own! What a gift! Thank you for coming by today and for your encouragement. God bless you, new friend!

      Reply

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