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3 Strategies to Love Your Enemy & Show Compassion

To be broken for others is to be like Yeshua (Jesus). To love your enemy is to be broken for them.

Compassion for others in their pain and in their sin is a place or attitude we can grow from.

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing”

1 Thessalonians 5:11

We should affirm what God is doing in those around us, even when we see their sins and shortcomings.

As we encourage their spiritual attainment and give God the credit, we are stirring them up to good works and love.

Never meet a plea for compassion with silence.

Our culture has become adept at showing contempt for those we perceive as our enemies. And once we allow ourselves to reach a place of contempt; compassion is no longer in our reach.

If the one you are upset with reaches out to you and you have contempt in your heart for them, there is a good chance you will choose to meet their plea with silence. That is not grace, that is not Messiah-like. It is tempting to do, no doubt. But it is wrong.

Even if you are really upset, hurt or angry, you try to respond in love. If you have a desire to be like Jesus, now is the time. Breaking out of your comfort zone, walking in love when you really don’t feel it are excellent disciplines for a disciple of Yeshua.

Be the voice of compassion, for you also have sinned. Choose to fill your heart with love and do acts of kindness. There really is no better way to show compassion than to act it out in difficult circumstances.

Loving Your Enemy takes Focus and Choice

To love one’s enemies includes kindness and compassion for them even when they do not return such actions. Even when they are in the midst of their struggles, they may be offending you. Indeed, this is faith in action, where we get real and decide if we are all in or not.

“THAT is the enemy’s plan for us. To isolate us.”

How to Walk in the Light

Consistent prayer for our brethren may lead to edification.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”

Matthew 6:32-36

What if we could turn our common suffering into hope as Nelson Mandela encourages? In times of strife, many suffer. Turn that suffering into hope by not turning a deaf ear to your brother.

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

Matthew 5:44

Prayer is key in regaining a love for your fellow man, for working through forgiveness and for reaching a place of inner humility. In addition, consistent prayer may lead to edification and blessings on those you want or need to show compassion to.

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” 

Romans 14:19

Choosing to pray for those who have wronged you will change you. It will change your heart. And it may save a relationship.

What does Love Your Enemy Mean?

When Jesus says to love our enemies, he means that we love them with a lay-your-life-down type of love — the type that comes from the heart and desires the other’s good, and sacrifices for it, when no one else but God is watching.

Desiring God, Jonathan Parnell

In addition to showing true love to those who have betrayed, offended, hurt, persecuted or otherwise acted the role of an enemy, you show them and others what God’s love is like.

Choosing to love your enemy includes praying for them, choosing not to hold them in contempt and edifying them. Love your enemies!

Bible Scriptures Show the Way to Love Your Enemy without Contempt

In His book Love Your Enemies, Arthur Brooks expounds upon the idea of choosing warm-heartedness instead of contempt when dealing with those who hold different values or ideas than our own. He shares how as a culture we have made contempt the norm when disagreements occur. This is the opposite of loving our enemies. As Brooks suggests, whether dealing with personal offenders, political or other opposites, let’s hold on to our integrity as believers and choose compassion.

Share this post and let’s get busy loving those we find unlovable!

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