What Does It Mean to Love Your Enemies?

Love Truth Blog


Does anyone have an enemy? An enemy is an adversary, nemesis, opponent or hostile force. In this sinful, fallen and broken world we all inevitably come face to face with an enemy. The impulse to the hater is to return the hate. Treat them with contempt. Words like isolate, retaliate, castigate, annihilate, and desolate apply to enemies. Jesus Christ, however, taught us to love our enemy. This radical alternative to loving neighbors and hating enemies typified in the world. Loving unconditionally is wholly in conformity to God’s benevolence.

Jesus taught: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt. 5:43-44).1 “Love your neighbor” is a direct quote from Leviticus 19:18; however, “hate your enemy” is never explicitly stated in the Old Testament. The Old Testament, on…

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