When We Love People We Disagree With, It Turns Our Faith Into a Living Biography

Love your enemies

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. — Matthew 7:24

In one of Jesus’ most popular sermons, He told people how to become love. He told them to be humble. He urged them to turn the other cheek when someone came swinging. He said to give their stuff away, not to store it up here on earth. But the most radical part of the sermon was this:

He told people to love their enemies.

Jesus said it’s easy to love people who love us back. Anyone can do that. But we’re to love those who don’t love us back — even those who have it out for us. I think we water down Jesus’ call to love our enemies by thinking of them in broad and extreme categories, like people in countries we’re at war with. Terrorists, leaders of drug cartels, criminals who have done great harm. A person walking their dog isn’t your enemy, right? A teacher you’ve never had but have heard stories about how strict they are isn’t actually an enemy. How can they be, when you don’t know them?

Here’s the thing: I think our enemies aren’t just the extreme examples that come to mind. They are the people who make us crazy. They annoy us with their insincere words or their rash behaviors. They’re the bosses who call us into the office on holidays or the parents who gossip about our kids. These are the ones we enjoy the least and disagree with the most.

Whoever it is, Jesus told us they’re the ones who will show us how real our faith is. The way we treat people is a report card on how far we’ve come in turning our beliefs into our biographies. Even when we’re sure they’re in the wrong, we have an opportunity to remember God’s response to us when we were even more wrong: it was total grace. Loving our enemies is a hard test to pass. But when we do it right, we show ourselves to be eager students at the feet of a great and compassionate Teacher.

Who’s the most difficult person for you to love these days? What can you do to draw closer to loving them this week?

Excerpted with permission from Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff, copyright Bob Goff

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Your Turn

Who is your difficult person? Who’s driving you crazy right now? How can you love that person today? How can you bless them? Come share your bold, brave move today on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Bob Goff

Bob Goff is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of Love Does, as well as an attorney who founded Restore International, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda and India. Bob often appears at various leadership and university events, inspiring current and future influencers to get to the ”do” part of life.

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