I have touched in previous posts on the concept of loving your enemy, but I wanted to share with you through this video some of the background of how this theme first surfaced in my life.
When Jesus asks us to love our enemies, it is from a position of authority on the topic. Jesus is the very embodiment of loving one’s enemy. He gave his life in love and service to the very people who took it, and he calls us to do the same.
This is not a popular part of the message of the gospel, but it is one of the keys to the transformational power of the Gospel.
This is not a popular part of the message of the gospel, but it is one of the keys to the transformational power of the Gospel. Throughout the Gospel, we see its counterintuitive or “upside down” nature. We see this when Jesus says, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). We see this in Jesus’ call for us to love and lay down our lives for our enemies. We see this in Jesus’ call for us to become like children that we discussed in a previous blog. Many of the concepts of the Gospel run contrary to our human nature.
I have been given the opportunity to love my enemy in my work on the field. We’ve had tea farms, children’s homes, and even rescued children themselves taken from us. That hurts! We’ve lost sustainability projects that we had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into to support children. People that we have invested so much energy and love into protecting have had their lives taken. Pastors that we support have been imprisoned and lost everything. These moments have been among the most difficult moments I have faced in this kind of work. But these moments have also been an opportunity to live out this concept of loving your enemy.
I would really like to tell you that in every one of these opportunities my enemy saw the error of their ways and repented, but that is not the case. Perhaps sometimes the reward for me was simply learning to live out this mandate. Perhaps in some cases the reward is yet to come. (I certainly hope so!) But there are also cases in which my enemy truly was transformed. There have been glorious moments of true repentance and restoration. In one case, a full fledged enemy eventually became a follower of Jesus and apologized for what they did.
But we are called to live in this “upside down” way, regardless of the reward. This concept is so vital for pioneering organizations, particularly ones that operate in conflict regions. This concept is even more important for the leaders of those organizations, because a cultural shift away from violence and revenge can only begin to take root after people have seen it lived out. This is where leaders in peace come in.
I’d like to invite you to learn more about the transformational power of loving your enemy. I’ve created a 30-day prayer guide that is available on Amazon on this topic. To get you started, I’d like to share the first 7 days of this guide with you for free. Please find the links below.
If your organization or your church would like to hear more about this message, I’d love to connect with you. Lastly, if you’d like to receive my weekly blog updates in your inbox, the sign up form is in the footer of this website.