- love our enemies (remember, love is defined in the NT by the example of Jesus dying for his friends and enemies)
- be willing to suffer unjustly at our enemies’ hands, even when we have the power to crush them
- do good to our enemies
- bless our enemies instead of curse them
- pray for our enemies
- forgive our enemies and ask God to forgive them
- turn the other cheek when struck
- humbly serve our enemies even when we know they’re about to take our lives
- respond gently when interrogated by enemies
- consider our sins to be worse than those of our enemies
- treat enemies as we’d like them to treat us
- give to our enemies without expecting anything in return
- give food and water to our enemies when they are hungry or thirsty
- don’t resist evil with forceful retaliation
- don’t fight with the weapons of this world
- don’t fight against flesh and blood people but rather the forces and ideas that compel them
- never return evil with evil but always with good
- never take vengeance against our enemies, leaving justice and wrath to God
I do not assume that the applications are obvious(!), but I do assume that whatever these verses say not to do, we are not to do. Whatever they say to do, we are to do. If they don’t offer an exception clause, we are not to create one.
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The items on the above list were taken straight from the following Scriptures: Matthew 5.38-48; 7.1-3; Luke 6.26-36; 11.4; 23.34; John 13.1-17; Romans 5.6-10; 12.12-21; 2 Corinthians 10.3-5; Ephesians 6.10-16; 1 Thessalonians 5.15; 1 Timothy 1.15-16; 1 Peter 2.18-23; 3.9, 15-16; 1 John 3.16.
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NOTE: In light of my 30th birthday and in honor of the guys who have all the fun, I’ll be offering thirty reflections in thirty days starting December 19th. Today’s post is #17 (see the so-far list here). The only rule is that I have 250 words to make my point. After that just stop reading. Thanks for making my blog part of your internet experience.