The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- Galatians 5:22-23
Did you know that Jesus tells us to love our enemies?
It seems unrealistic to do so, even teetering on the impossible. So how do we love someone who has hurt us in some way?
God doesn’t intend you to put yourself in harm’s way or subject yourself to ongoing abuse. Neither does He expect you to be silent or not seek justice for injury.
But, let’s look at what it means to love our enemy.
The Greek word agape is translated as love in the passage.
By definition, it means that we seek the highest good for the other person.
And the best way we can do that is to pray for them, first, to know Christ.
Second, we can also pray for them to experience and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.
We are told in 1 Peter 3:9 not to repay evil for evil or insult with insult, but rather pay back wrongs by praying for those who have offended us. In doing so, we are blessed by the Lord.
Isn’t that hard? When someone deeply hurts us, we often want to retaliate, but Jesus tells us to leave that judgment to His Father in heaven because revenge is unacceptable.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, your ways are not mine. It feels hard to bless those who have hurt me. Please help me forgive them and love them like you, praying for them instead of cursing them. Amen.