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Enemies

There are many kinds of enemies. Sometimes, enemies are people who have hurt us. Sometimes, they are people who just seem mean. Sometimes, enemies may be people who don’t love God at all. Let’s look in the Bible to find out what God has to say about our enemies.

How does God expect us to treat our enemies?
Even in Bible times Christian’s had enemies. Read what Jesus said. 

      "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
     “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-36, NIV)."

 
Wow! It is good that God is always there to help, because loving our enemies can be pretty hard. When we ask Jesus to help us become just like Him, God will help us to show our enemies that we love them, even when they are mean or hurtful.


I can't help being happy when my enemy has problems. Is that wrong? In the Bible we read, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him" (Proverbs 24:17-18, NKJV).  God does not want us to be happy when bad things happen to anyone.

What does "heaping coals of fire" mean?
The answer: "The Scriptures also say, "If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads" (Romans 12:20, CEV). In other words, the enemy will feel bad for how they treated you, if you are kind back.

Does God promise to protect me from my enemies?
Yes, He does! We read, "He rescues me from my enemies; He holds me safely out of their reach and saves me from these powerful opponents" (Psalm 18:48, TLB). To learn even more about how God promises to protect His children, look up Psalm 91.

Can you possibly win your enemy to God by treating him considerately?
Yes, God says you can! “God's servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient. Be humble when you correct people who oppose you. Maybe God will lead them to turn to him and learn the truth. They have been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape” (2 Timothy 2:24-26, CEV).  The best thing to do in any situation is to be like Jesus, so that maybe someone else can get to know him, too.