The best gift you can give yourself is to love your enemies. To forgive them in advance for the wrong they are going to commit in future. It has not always been like this for me. I remember when I started work as a teacher in a certain establishment here in Nigeria, I was really bitter. I was bitter because of the bad experiences I had. I would go home whining and complaining to my hubby and kids about the way I was ill treated. Some people who are close to me can testify that it has not been an easy road for me.

I had a phone discussion with my twin sister sometime ago, telling her how cruel the new teachers were. Her response was not what I had expected. In her words, she said” Are you going to kill them?” I must confess that one day, I had literally asked God to kill them. I said “kill them Lord, kill them!”
I laugh at myself now when I think about how childish that must have sounded. To say that I abhorred them is to put it mildly. I LOATHED working with them because they made my life miserable. Like my twin would encourage “Uduak, it is your thinking, change your thinking”. I had done everything that is legitimate to make these set of people love me. But what I got was mockery and insinuation.
The only moment I was free was when I surrendered it all to God. I had to embark on a seven day fast from dawn till dusk. I confided in one of my mentors, living in the states telling him that I finally want to pray and fast about it and he gave me some scriptures to use. Armed with the scriptures I started raining brimstones and coals of fire against the “enemies” of my progress. Day one was not that difficult to bind and cast. Day 3 came and I started experiencing peace in the midst of the storm. Instead of feeling angry and resentful I felt peace. I started loving my co workers. I started seeing them in a better light. I saw them as God’ s children in need of help. I started being more polite and courteous to them. I even had to apologise to them because the Holy Spirit started showing me what I needed to change. I prayed for them and loved them from my heart. This testimony can be yours. I have researched on 5 ways you can love your enemies. Here we go:
Are you struggling to find ways to “love your enemies” according to the Lord Jesus’ command in Matthew 5:44? Here are some ways you can do it.

1. Forgive them

Forgiving them—the best and first thing you should do—actually benefits you. When you forgive those who have hurt you, not only do you release the hurts and offences that hurt and hinder you, but you also entrust them to God who knows what to do better and actually does it better than you. When they offend you repeatedly but also repeatedly ask for your forgiveness, forgive them (see Matthew 18:21).

2. Pray for them

Take it a step further and pray to the Lord to bless them. Pray for those who have offended you, hurt you, maligned you, mistreated you, and damaged your reputation (see Colossians 3:13). Doing this doesn’t mean you’re denying the fact that you got hurt. Rather, you are asking God to heal you and help your offender get right with God.

Pray to God that He will lead your offender to repentance.

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3. Consider them victims, too

Honestly speaking, it is very hard to see that our offenders are also victims in their own way, but that’s the truth. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” thus it is quite unlikely that all men will be unable to hurt another (see Romans 3:23). We have to realise that our real enemy is the devil, who keeps tempting all men to do wrong (see Ephesians 6:12).

When we see our human enemies in this light, we can begin to pray for their freedom from sin and for the real enemy – Satan – to be stopped in Jesus’ name.

4. Speak well of them

Slander and gossip should never be done, friends (see James 4:11). When you are tempted to speak ill of your offenders, choose instead to keep silent about them and pray to the Lord for them in your heart and mind. Instead, decide to speak well of them and not damage or destroy their reputation. Remember that God is your Vindicator who vindicates you. At the same time He is the Judge who will hold you accountable for every careless word you say (see Luke 6:37; Matthew 12:36).

5. Do good to them when you have the opportunity

“Love covers a multitude of sins,” says the Bible, and that is so true (see 1 Peter 4:8). Just think about how the kindness of God led us to repentance, and you will understand why you should do good to your offender. God’s kindness displayed through you will bring them to the Lord (see Romans 2:4; Luke 6:28; Matthew 5:44).

By: Uduak Otongaran


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