Mat 5 (Jesus says)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Today, when Christians discuss “how to love your enemy”, it seems common sense and practicality are thrown out of the window for the sake mushy religiosity based on an eisegesis as over an exegesis of scripture. The reason I feel compelled to write on this topic is because there are people out there who desire to do that which pleases God but have spiritual elders who are poorly equipped with scripture and thereby incapable to holistically counsel them in the light of scripture. We ought to remember that a good exegesis is done when scripture is interpreted in the light of scripture, if a verse is interpreted so as to favour the prevailing humanists/liberal mind-set, not only does that not harmonize with the rest of scripture, which stands as its background but it ascertains a teaching which was never Biblically called for, to be the foolishness God supposedly requires of the individual from unholy fear.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If you were to take a look at the Ten Commandments (Ex20:3-17), you would notice that the first four commandments deal with the Christian’s religious accountability unto God, while the other six deal with the Christians accountability toward his/her neighbour. Now this neighbour could be anybody who exists or whom you can make contact with in your environment, yes even your worst enemy if he/she is around (Lk10:27-37). However, this does not mean that you ought to go hug them as you see them or ask them out for dinner or even smile at them from an out of place feeling. It just means that you should be courteous in your dealings with them and even help them out if they or their property is in danger.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.
As a true Christian, you need to understand that your enemy only hates you because he/she hates the nature of Christ that is burgeoning in you (Jn15:18-19). That hatred between the seed of Satan and the seed of Christ is what God has put in place from the beginning (Gen3:15) because light can have no fellowship with darkness (2Cor6:14). This means the Christian can never be intimately involved with the unbeliever because the glory of God pleases the Christian while a sinful satisfaction of self is what pleases the unbeliever.
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Today, what the world knows about love is merely a mushy feeling that pampers the other to do as they please but if you were to read the scripture from Mat22 above, you would notice that love requires us to bear responsibility unto God and neighbour. Love is not merely a wavering emotion but a duty given the Godly to act from the nature of Christ (Phil4:13) because when the individual is born from above, he/she turns to God by the merit of Christ (Jn3:3,16 & 15:4). So you notice that the individual is called to be Godlike in nature, in his/her calling to be Christlike (Ezek36:27), as the moral law of God occupies the person’s heart (Jer31:33), making God’s precepts the individual’s new nature because we are a new creation in Christ (2Cor5:17).
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
From 1Cor 13 we notice that patience is a virtue of love and in Rom 9 we see that God exhibits such love through patience upon the wicked who are merely vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. So in being called to follow after God (Mat10:16,25), we are called to be gentle and live as peaceably/wisely with them as you possibly can (Prov16:7/Rom12:8).
23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
That is to say that scripture does not expect you to make your enemies your close friends or count them among your loved ones because such intimacy is not possible for you who are in Christ to have such communion with those whose communion with God is broken. In other words, the reason you would not be able to share intimate fellowship with your enemy is because what your enemy delights in, will probably make you feel squeamish.
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
To conclude, most of us believers would know how we lived back in the time when we were unbelievers, knowing now how patient God was with us while we never knew the rich intimacy of Christ’ fellowship back then (Col1:21-22). We thereby are not given to determine beforehand whether the patience/curtesy we exhibit unto our enemies, shall be a conduit of God’s mercy allowing for closer/likeminded fellowship with the individual (2Tim2:25) or whether it would merely be leaving room for God’s justice (Rom12:19) because Salvation belongs to God and as Rom 9:15 says God has mercy on whom He has mercy and compassion on whom He has compassion.