Q. Please explain exactly what Jesus meant when he told us to love our enemies. Thank you so much and God Bless you richly
A. From a reading of Luke 6:27-37 we can see that our response to every circumstance, even the negative ones, is to be based in love. In the passage, He gave us some specific examples like turning the other cheek, offering more than is demanded, responding to ingratitude with kindness, etc. We can do this because as believers we’ve been promised that our every earthly need will be met and therefore we don’t need to worry about anything. Plus we have an eternal destiny waiting that’s beyond description.
If people hate us without reason, we can love them in return with random acts of kindness. If they persecute us we can pray for them. The word used for love in the passage means we’re to actively desire their highest good. Remember, Jesus died for us while we still hated Him. This is our way of passing along the love that was shown to us, but there’s more to it.
In Romans 8:28 we’re told that God is working everything together for the good of those who love Him. That means even the bad things. In the Luke passage, the Lord tells us how this works. He knows that seeking the good even in bad situations by responding in love is a difficult thing to do. Therefore every time we refuse to “take the bait” and sink to the level of our attackers by responding in kind and choose love instead, He deposits special rewards in our Heavenly account. The few moments of shame or embarrassment we endure here because of an attack or injustice are paying eternal dividends there.
These rewards have to be in addition to our salvation because every believer is saved, whether he or she responds with love or not. Salvation is a free gift, given irrespective of merit. Rewards are earned by the love we express in gratitude for our salvation. And He taught us to stop being so obsessive about piling up Earthly rewards, and focus instead on storing up heavenly ones. Every one in heaven is saved.(Matt. 6:19-21)
He’s not asking us to be doormats, and we’re certainly not required to put ourselves at risk needlessly, but when it happens responding in love is the right thing to do.