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This is a serious matter! If we don't love our enemies, we are no better than an unbeliever. We are NOT God's sons and daughters.
"Love for Neighbor" (which includes one's enemies) is one of the two most
basic obligations we have as humans. (The other obligation involves "Love
for God.") See: Matthew 22:36-40.
There are many kinds of "love" - some good, some bad. Which kind is being mentioned in these verses?
- Actually, lust is the opposite of love; it's self-gratification.
NOT: Romantic Love
- In the proper context, this is good and honors God. But the type of love mentioned in these verses applies to everyone (including our enemies), not just to a marriage partner.
NOT: Friendship Love
- There are many verses in the New Testament which talk about this kind of love. This love can be good... but it would not necessarily apply to enemies!
YES: Commitment Love
- "I am committed to doing whatever I can to bring about good in the lives of those around me - even for my enemies."
- This type of love does not depend on the other person responding back with love.
Hebrews 12:2 - He focused not on the pain he had to endure, but on the joy that would follow.
[Psalm 73 shows us an example of someone who almost did give-up. But then he realized what a horrible loss it would have been - worse than anything else that could ever happen to him.]
Dennis Hinks © 2000