– Warren Wiersbe
Pray for Your Enemies
Nothing probably confounds our enemies more than when we tell them that we’ll pray for them, but this is exactly what Jesus commands us to do (Matt 5:43) because if we pray for our enemies, we are more like God than at nearly any time at all. Why do I say this? Because Jesus died for us while we were still His enemies, and wicked sinners at that (Rom 5:8. 10)! What better thing to do because when our lives please God, He can make even our enemies be at peace with us (Prov 16:7). Wouldn’t you want that? Pray for your enemies to repent and come to saving faith in Christ because that is God’s will (2 Pet 3:9), and it should be our will too.
Love Your Enemies
Back to the Beatitudes that Jesus gave in Matthew chapter five. Here Jesus tells us to love our enemies (Matt 5:44) and for the very same reason we pray for our enemies: “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45). Don’t you want to be more like the Father in heaven? Then that’s part of the way you can be like Him. Pray for your enemies and love your enemies, even though they don’t deserve it. Neither did we when Jesus died for us.
Bless Your Enemies
To ask God’s blessing on our enemies is no easier than praying for and loving our enemies, but we are told to do so (Rom 12:14). When people persecute us, we should ask God to bless them. Wow! Doesn’t that sound hard, if not impossible? Sure it does, but that’s the way we are to be more like God, rather than avenge our enemies, which is not our job but God’s (Rom 12:19). Trust God to judge our enemies and whatever our enemies do to us because God will not leave them unpunished. But rather than hope for God’s swift judgment on them, why not ask Him to bless them instead?
Bless Those Who Curse and Abuse You
What is more contrary to human nature than to bless someone who curses you and someone who abuses you? I once had someone so angry at me that they asked God to bring down a curse on me, and they cussed me out with vulgarities and profanities. Now try to pray for someone who does that. I had to literally force myself to pray for them and ask for God’s blessing on them because that’s what Jesus tells us to do (Luke 6:28). Jesus even goes further by telling us that if they need a coat, give them yours; if they need shirt (garment), then give them yours. Now tell me, wouldn’t that confuse those who are cursing and abusing us? I’d say so. That’s why these are attributes of God, because we are to be giving our enemies what they don’t deserve (called grace) and not paying them back with what they truly deserve (called mercy). That’s hard, but that’s exactly how we can be more like God, and I want that. Don’t you (Matt 5:45)?
Be a Friend to Our Enemies
As Mr. Wiersbe said, “We may not be able to prevent other people from being our enemies, but we can prevent ourselves from being enemies toward others,” and we might even make them into our friends. Now wouldn’t that be awesome?
I am glad God did not give us what we deserved, but instead gave us what we need, and that was His mercy and grace (Eph 2:8-9). It’d be a shame to keep such good news to ourselves, wouldn’t it? You cannot change people; you can only change how you react to them.