– Hosea Ballou
3 Ways Loving Your Enemies Leads to Personal Freedom
Hosea Ballou can’t be any more correct than saying hatred is self-punishment. It is like trying to harm someone who doesn’t even notice you by swallowing poison that burns you from within. The more you hate, the more you are harmed and the target of your hate could care less. Sadly, this disconnect, between hate and self-harm is lost on most people. People are too content to wallow in their hatred and let their hate poison their whole lives. They let the venom of anger and disgust at someone poison their other relationships and destroy their ability to trust others. Sadly, these people let the people who harmed or hurt them win when they do this. Instead of punishing yourself by hating someone, develop Christian love in your heart for them. Here are the three ways loving your enemies, as Jesus taught, leads to real personal freedom.
Loving Your Enemies Shows Your Love for God Too
When you love all other people, enemies included, you are letting the power of God’s love work through you. You give Jesus full permission to convert your whole being. Don’t just get converted at the intellectual or financial level. Jesus wants all of your being s you need to give your heart fully. This means letting his love transform you from within and overflow you so your works reflect your conversion. This results in a deep and profound change in how we view our relationship with other people.
Replacing Hate with Love Reflects a Truly Converted Heart
Regardless of how long you have been a Christian, Jesus is still knocking at our hearts. It is too easy to accept Jesus with our mind, but another thing altogether to accept him with our whole hearts. By trusting Jesus fully and allowing him to enable us to forgive and love those who hurt us, we will realize that we have a truly converted heart. It is easy to claim conversion based on the good things we are already doing. It is much more difficult to claim conversion doing things we are reluctant to do. This is where the true test of faith and conversion comes in.
Choosing to love instead of hate means you choose the freedom Christ offers
Christ has come to release all captives. He wasn’t necessarily referring to those in government-created prisons. Hating someone means putting your emotional self in prison. You are trapped by your own hate. Choosing to love due to God’s love for you, means turning the key of the door of your own self-made prison and walking out a free person in the love of Jesus Christ. I know this is hard and easier said than done. But God’s love compels us. Besides, the freedom we gain is worth much more than whatever small comforts and pleasures we gain hating someone.