Good morning, Making Space for God friends! This morning, while I was preparing for my day, I heard the Lord whisper in my heart:
Joanne, it is a privilege to love your enemies.
Naturally, I stopped in my tracks. “Is this you Lord?” I have learned it’s better to stop in your tracks and see if it might be Him because if you don’t, He will just keep whispering… and then it will get louder and louder in your spiritual ears and heart. And then I heard Him say:
It’s easy to love those who love you, but it is a privilege to love those who do not love you.
Living in the Kingdom as believers, God is always teaching us His ways. If anyone has taught us how to love our enemies it was Jesus.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. (Luke 6:32).
Busted. I was hoping this was not Jesus talking to me. But clearly He says to us that the real test of love is loving those who don’t like you. And let’s be real. We all have people who do not like us let alone love us. Let’s take a look at what this does mean and what it does not mean.
First of all, I gravitate towards people whom I enjoy being with and vise versa; people who like me. Its fun and easy and keeps life simple. But as kingdom citizens, our lives are to be modeled after Jesus. He did not shy away from the Pharisees, or Saducees or others who wanted to get rid of him. He confronted them with love and truth. He did not choose to hang out with those who liked Him (remember Judas!). He chose to do what His Father told Him to do. And that mostly involved loving the unloveable, the outcast, the prideful in the case of the Pharisees, those who mocked Him, the crowd who sentenced him to death, and even those who nailed Him to the cross.
So first we need to reach out to those whom we might not consider lovable or even likable. And then we need to ask God to pour His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) and to release His love through us. His agape supernatural love enables us to see people as He sees them. His love is unnatural, not limited to those who are easy to love. His love crosses boundaries of color, culture, gender. And God’s love is available to us 24/7. We simply need to tap into it. And when we do, that is when we will clearly see that it is a privilege to love even our enemies. Because even our enemies are loved by God. And. by the way, we need to clarify the difference between God is love and love is God. God doesn’t just define love. He is love and not the other way around.
I want to challenge you this week to reach out to those who may not like you or be like you. In doing so, you will find that it is indeed a privilege to love and serve those who may not love you in return.