But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
This is no easy assignment. We are inclined to dislike those who hurt us. The best thing we are able to do is to ignore them. But God requires something totally different. He wants us to bless those who hate us. To pray for those who persecute us. That seems impossible. Remember that blessing someone does not mean that we approve of his actions. In fact, we disapprove of their behavior, but they need God. That’s why we need to pray for them, and bless them with the love of the Lord.
In His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:44-48), Jesus even tells us to love them. We ourselves could never find it in our hearts to love an enemy. It just goes against our nature. Where in the world will we find people who can? You will only find it in people who are no longer of this world, but now belong to the Kingdom of God.
In Christ, who forgave us first, we are able to do the unusual deed of embracing an enemy, of loving those who hate us, of praying for those who persecute us, of blessing those who curse us.
And so, through us, Christ can reach that hard heart, so that it may also discover Christ’s forgiveness and have eternal life.
By Constantin Caraman from Romania who was in prison three times for his faith.