This isn’t an easy subject to talk about – it’s really hard to love someone who hates you and despitefully uses you. Whether that’s a neighbor, colleague, family member, or even spouse, God shows us how to love our enemies.
How do we love our enemies? Jesus talked about this in the gospels so let’s dig in and see what He has to say about how to love those who hate us.
What Did Jesus Mean By Loving Your Enemies?
Jesus walked this earth for a very short period of time, yet, he changed the world with his sacrifice. His wisdom recorded throughout the gospels touches on how we should treat our enemies. Jesus tells us not only to care for our adversaries but also to bless and pray for them.
He continues on by reminding us that it’s easy to love those who return it, yet, if we love those who don’t, we shall receive rewards in heaven.
We must remember that God loves everyone, including those who don’t even believe in Him. So, it makes sense that to be Christ-like, we must also learn to love those who persecute us.
Matthew 5:43-48 – Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
What Bible Verse Says Love Your Enemies?
Just reading Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44 makes me think, how is this actually impossible? I can think of a few times in my life whom I would consider enemies. Yet, it’s hard to fathom blessing them, doing good, and praying for them when they are being evil to you.
And yet, Corrie Ten Boom’s story is quite amazing. If she can love her enemies who physically abused her while she rotted in jail, then I should be able to as well. But, how did she gain the courage and conviction to show such humble love? I highly recommend her book, “The Hiding Place“. Corrie is truly an inspiration and gives you a fresh perspective on how to love those who oppose you.
It’s called the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, all you need to do is let the Holy Spirit guide you and remove any bad thoughts, feelings, or emotions that keep you from loving others.
Matthew 5:44 – 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;
Martin Luther King was instrumental in conveying this critical message of how to truly love someone in this quote during a sermon titled “Love Your Enemies” delivered at Dexter Baptist Church in 1957:
“You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long.”
Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies
Let’s dive into a few passages of scripture that touch on how we should treat our nemesis. Christianity is different than any other religion. It shows compassion, mercy, grace, and so many forgiving qualities.
Love Your Enemies Verse KJV
Let’s see if you pass the test and say ‘yes’ to these questions. Ask yourself these 4 questions honestly to find out if you could also love your nemesis::
- If I was passing my enemy on the street and he/she was hungry, would I feed them?
- If I had the chance to give my foe a gift, would I follow through?
- Can I say that I would pray special blessings upon my rival?
- Would I act like Stephen when someone was throwing rocks at me, and ask God to forgive them?
Love Your Enemies Verse in the Bible
Here are key Love your enemies Bible Verses you can meditate and memorize as you ask God to help you reverse the feelings of anger and bitterness in your heart.
Romans 12:20 – Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Luke 6:27 – But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Leviticus 19:18 – Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Romans 12:14 – Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Luke 23:34 – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Acts 7:16 – And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Love Your Enemies Verse Explanation
Let’s dissect these verses to ensure we fully understand how to love our nemesis in a Christ-like way. Here are some Biblical tips on how to love your enemies::
- Have an attitude that you’d be willing to sacrifice for those who hate you whether it’s food, drink or your time.
- It is not your job to return evil with evil, remember that vengeance is mine, says the Lord.
- Pray special blessings upon those who persecute you.
- Ask God to help you love your enemies every day if necessary.
Love Your Enemies Quotes
Read and think about these quotes as you move forward with a new attitude of forgiveness and mercy in the days to come.
You never so touch the ocean of God’s love as when you forgive and love your enemies. – Corrie Ten Boom
Love your enemies because they bring out the best in you. – Friedrich Nietzsche
When he [Christ] says ‘Forgive your enemies’, it is not for the sake of the enemy but for one’s own sake that he says so, and because Love is more beautiful than Hate. – Oscar Wilde
In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self.- Martin Luther King Jr.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King Jr.
Love Your Enemies Coloring Page
If you are looking to reflect on this Bible Verse, download our free Love Your Enemies Coloring Page! As you are coloring your own beautiful creation, remember God’s love for you even when you were not a follower of Christ. He is merciful and gives so much grace, let’s keep Him in our hearts instead of bitterness and strife for those who oppose us.
Free Love Your Enemies Coloring Page is taken from Luke 6:27
Love Your Enemies Summary
As we draw to a close, while it’s hard to be humble and give grace to those who don’t deserve it, there are so many benefits for you. The heaviness of these negative emotions weighs on you, wastes your time, and wearies the Lord. It does not honor God and puts a strain on your spiritual and physical life. Let Go and Let God help you love your enemies.