“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you.” Luke 6:27-28
Jesus knew that we would have enemies. He knew that we would have conflicts and disagreements with people. Of course, we are all sinners who live in an imperfect world, so we will inevitably have to deal with each other’s differences. People who dislike, hate, harm, or hurt us are considered our enemies. It is also natural for us to be hurt, disappointed, or angry at them too. But even though Jesus also experienced what it’s like to have people hate you, He still modeled how to love the unlovable. And He called us to do the same.
Usually, when we have arguments, our response is to leave and ignore the conflict, hoping it will fix itself in time. Another is we hope for “karma” for the people who hurt us. Yes, these responses are already usual, and it may be natural to this world. However, it is not, in any way, Biblical. Jesus goes on and explains in this Scripture that you’re not just to love them, but you also have to pray for them and bless them.
You may think it’s absurd to love your enemies still even when they’ve hurt you in the worst way possible. And maybe you’re asking God, “But, why? This person has caused me so much pain, and you still want me to pray for him and seek his highest good? He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. He doesn’t deserve any kind of goodness from me.”, thinking that He’ll accept your reason. But no, because if you think twice, what would you do if Jesus said the same whenever you sin?
You see, when you were unlovable, He still gave you countless blessings. When you were sinful and unforgivable, He died for you to pay the penalty for your sins. When you neglected His presence, He still waited for your return. When you were too stubborn to obey Him, He patiently waited for your repentance. So do not classify whose deserving or not, because even though you didn’t deserve His love, He still loved you. Not because you deserved it, but because you needed it.
It’s never easy to show goodness to those who wouldn’t do the same for you. It is challenging. But loving people despite what they have caused you is not a suggestion from God. It is a commandment from Him. To love Jesus requires loving the people whom He loves equally as you. You know, it’s easy to say we love Him when it doesn’t cost us anything. But true love is often tested on how we treat others even when they’re undeserving. We cannot say we love Him yet do not love those He has forgiven as well. That is impossible.