In September 2019, the video of a young man – Brandt Jean, who chose to forgive the cop who killed his brother, Botham, went viral on the internet. “How could he do that easily?”, was the question on the minds of many. Brandt said to the killer “I want the best for you… I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.” As though that wasn’t shocking enough, Brandt made a request to give the killer of his brother a hug. Wow!
To love and be loved has to be one of the most fundamental cravings of humans in all generations. Indeed, many psychologists including Maslow hold this notion to be true: that love is a basic universal need of man.
The desire for love is so deep-seated that it often determines how happy or sad a person is.
The question then is: Is it possible to love my enemy?
NB: Love is used in a broad sense in this article. Not the romantic sense.
THE LOGICAL IDEA OF LOVE
In all of human existence, it has always been widely accepted to love those who love you. Expressions like “I treat people with same energy with which they treat me.” “I just love her because our vibes are same” “F**k my haters” are common.
Again, it has always been easy to love the good person. Easy going, no guile, giver, pure energy.
But who gets to love those on the other side?
In the Old Testament, the focus of love was towards loved ones. Moses declared in Leviticus 19:18 “LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF”. Bearing this in mind, coupled with other laws of Moses like, THOU SHALL NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE, many believers naturally inferred that men are to love only those who love them. Hence, you find David cursing his enemies. Psalms 139:19-22, 140:9-11
JESUS RAISED THE BAR
Jesus came on board and did a total overhaul of man’s concept of love
Matthew 5:43-47 “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”.
By this statement Jesus shook the tables of our minds forever and raised the love standard higher. The response of the believer to hatred must be love.By instructing us to love our enemies, Jesus redefined our perspective of love and raised the love standard higher. The response of the believer to hatred must be love. Click To Tweet
I’m like “Seriously”??? Bless those who curse me? An enemy never means well. They constantly seek the downfall of those they hate, and I’m to love them? Initially, it seemed like an impossible task, but stay with me!
In establishing what love truly is, Jesus first invalidates the previous standard. Love is not in its best state when it is only extended to those who share the same feeling towards you. That’s natural, you get to like those who like you and wish you well. Jesus says that kind of Love does not get rewarded.
But the love that God gives? It’s a powerful force designed to break any barrier of hatred or persecution. A love that endures all things. A love that doesn’t wait to receive before giving.Love is not in its best state when it is only extended to those who express the same towards you. That kind of Love does not get rewarded- Jesus Click To Tweet
EMULATE YOUR FATHER
Jesus pointed us to the example of our Daddy in redefining our viewpoint of love. God doesn’t discriminate in love. He gives the sun and rain to every man, good or evil.
In providing salvation for the sins of mankind, Jesus died for all men, not only Jews, not only the willing but for all men, not just Christians.
It is also worthy of note that Christ died for us, when we were still his enemies. Not when we had repented and recognized the need for a savior. Romans 5:7-10
So, when you decide to show love to that difficult person, that one you don’t vibe with, you are acting like your Father.When you decide to show love to that difficult person, that one you don’t vibe with, you are acting like your Father. He gives the sun and rain to every man, good and evil. Click To Tweet
GOD IS JUST
How practicable is loving a hater though? Tough row to hoe?
God is just. He never gives an instruction without an empowerment.
He has shed his love abroad in our hearts Romans 5:5. We have the fruit of the Spirit called Love. Galatians 5:22. We are therefore able to love the worst of persons.
While you may not get to control the reactions of people towards you, you can ensure that your heart and actions towards them are inspired by love.While you may not get to control the reactions of people towards you, you can ensure that your heart and actions towards them are inspired by love. Click To Tweet
NOT BY HUMAN STRENGTH
The life of a Christian is not driven by might or power, but by the Spirit. Same applies for love. To love enemies and pray for those who spitefully use you, you’ve got to rely on the enablement within. How?The life of a Christian is not driven by might or power, but by the Spirit. Same applies for love. To love enemies and pray for those who spitefully use you, you've got to rely on the enablement within. Click To Tweet
God is Love. God is our image of Love. It thus means that the proportion of the love of the father that we get exposed to in fellowship is the same proportion we can give to others.
So, as we receive revelation of Gods love from the word and prayers, our minds are convinced of our possibilities, and walking in love towards all men would become possible. Ephesians 5:2
Love is one of the most powerful forces on earth. It can conquer the worst of men. 1Corinthians 13:1-8. God wants even the worst of men saved. He wants them changed by his Love. Pray for them. Give to them. Harbour no hate in your heart.
Let’s get our love game on. Afterall, we all need love.
Glory to God