“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of Elyon, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil ones. Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate to you.” Luke 6:35-36
Is this verse talking about a frienemy — you know, someone with whom we’re friendly, despite having a fundamental dislike or rivalry? Or maybe even it is someone we know who combines the characteristics of a friend and an enemy? Nope. It’s more complicated than that. When Jesus spoke of loving our enemies, He meant the unredeemed. Those who may have done us harm in some way. However, there can be no guile in our hearts.
How is that possible? The key is: “just as your Father is compassionate to you.”
Our finite minds cannot handle seeing into the future. Much less to know the future of our “enemies.” But, just as our Heavenly Father knew our future, He extended kindness and compassion while we were still enemies. If we can remember that we were once the ungrateful and evil ones until the Father’s redemption through Jesus, perhaps it will be easier to love our enemies.
And not just love our enemies from afar. Apparently, we’re to do good for them, and lend to them expecting nothing in return. Those expectations of them reciprocating are like hooks in our soul. Approaching each encounter with no expectations — only in obedience to GOD’s directives — can be difficult to manage. But, it is a choice. And an act of obedience.
Our efforts won’t ensure that this person will eventually be redeemed. Nevertheless, when we perform these good and kind deeds, our hearts will reflect our hope for their redemption. Just like the Father’s heart.
Love our enemies, as our Father loved us through to adoption.