Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (June 13, 2022)

Today I want to share an article written by Elder Buddy Abernathy on the topic of loving your enemies. When Jesus commanded his disciples to do this, they were no doubt astonished! But prosperous Kingdom living requires that we love our enemies, as Bro. Buddy sets out below.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer!

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor


by Elder Buddy Abernathy

As Christians, our duty is to please God (Col. 3:23). That includes loving our enemies (Mat. 5:44). An enemy is anyone that has set himself or herself against you. It may be a family member, a co-worker, someone in your neighborhood, or a fellow member of the church.

To love your enemy is not to “feel good” toward them. That’s practically impossible. But you can interact with them in a godly manner, regardless of how you feel. Many years ago, I was in a situation where someone would not speak to me. Circumstances required that I be in their company regularly. I tried to make a special effort to speak to them each time I was around them. However, I never saw any evidence that our broken relationship was restored.

Don’t focus on the success or failure of your efforts to resolve the problem. Focus on obeying God (loving your enemies). Ask yourself, “What can I do to better to love my enemy?” Loving our enemies is a spiritual discipline we develop through practice. When we obey the command, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2Pe 1:5-7 KJV), we are developing the spiritual skills we need to love our enemy.

Let’s consider a simple example of loving our enemy. Suppose you are traveling on the highway and the person who opposes you is parked on the side of the road because they have run out of gas. How do you love your enemy? You simply offer to go get them some gas. How you “feel” about/toward them is not relevant. You have the ability to help them in the same manner you would help your best friend under identical circumstances. Remember what Jesus said about this matter:

“For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.” (Luk 6:32-33 KJV)

But what if the person is so angry that they threaten to harm you if you don’t leave them alone? Jesus “covered all the bases”.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Mat 5:44 KJV)

The general command is, “Love your enemies”. Jesus then makes application to every possible scenario. He addresses the enemy who speaks evil of you, the enemy who actually does things to bring problems in your life, and the enemy who would bring you physical harm if he had opportunity. Jesus commands you to speak well of the person who speaks evil of you, do right toward the person who does wrong toward you, and pray for the person who “despitefully uses you and persecutes you”. Even the person who threatens to harm you can be loved. How? Pray that the Lord will show them the error of their way and take away their hate toward you.

You may say, “But they’re so evil that I dont think they’re a child of God.” It is not our job to figure that out. “…The Lord knoweth them that are his…” (2 Tim. 2:19). Our job is to love our enemies, even if all we can do is pray for them. Perhaps they are a child of God who has hardened their heart against the Lord (Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7). In answer to your prayer, the Lord may be pleased to convict them of their sins and give them repentance (2 Tim. 2:25). “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14)