It must be the aim of a Christian to make his enemy lovely. It is not my supreme business to secure my safety, but to remove his ugliness. He may only annoy me, but he is destroying himself. He may injure my reputation; but far worse, he is blighting his own character. Therefore must I seek to remove the greater thing, the corrosive malady in his own soul. I must make it my purpose to recover his loveliness, and restore the lost likeness of the Lord.
And only love can make things lovely. Revenge can never do it. Even duty will fail in the gracious work. There is a final touch, a consummate bloom, to which duty can never attain, and which is only attainable by love. All love’s ministries are creative of loveliness. Wherever her finger rests, something exquisite is born. Love is a great magician: she transforms the desert into a garden, and she makes the wilderness blossom like the rose.
But where shall we get the love wherewith to make our enemy lovely? From the great Lover Himself. “We love, because He first loved us.” The great Lover will love love into us! And we, too, shall become fountains of love, for our Lord will open “rivers in the high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys.”–JJ H Jowett