“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
We all have met people who have disliked us or hated us for some unjust reason. They could have hated you for the way you talk, the way you walk, or even the way you smile. They could have hated you for the amount of success you’ve been blessed with, or more likely, the potential for success you have within you.
It would be somewhat satisfying if you knew who your enemies were, but a lot of times, it’s someone you didn’t even know or someone you thought was your friend. They are the type of people that smile in your face while secretly working behind the scenes to destroy you. In a lot of cases, they do this because they want something you have, and they feel the only way they’re going to get it is by undermining you. Your enemies, or friendimies, will try to ruin you anywhere. They will sabotage you on the job. They will even try to destroy your reputation in the church.
Knowing that someone is out to ruin you, you could get angry and want to retaliate. You may even set your sights on destroying them. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
However, we can not live by this philosophy. Retaliating makes us no better than them, and it may cause us to gain more enemies in the process. That’s why we should pray for our enemies. David, when referring to his enemies, said in Psalm 109:4 that “For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.” That means that we should pray for them to change their ways. We pray for God to take away their anger against us, and for them to find happiness in their lives.
I believe that the ones that desire to harm us without justification will eventually destroy themselves in the process. When that happens, however, we should not rejoice in their suffering. Proverbs 24:17 says “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.” I found out recently that someone who hated me and tried to destroy me for a very long time was having some major medical issues and could no longer provide for himself. A part of me wanted to celebrate his downfall, but then I immediately felt sorry for him. Although this person wished me ill will most of my life, I could not find it in my heart to be happy for his pain. Instead, I prayed for God to restore his health.
That’s what I believe we should all do when dealing with our enemies. We should forgive them for their wrongdoing, feel sorrow for them when they stumble, and pray for them. It will make us better people in the process, and God will bless us because of it.