Loving Your Enemies as Yourself
Written by Sophia Reed
I cannot tell you how many times I have been deemed weird or seen as too forgiving because of my Christian ways. The natural, human thing to do when others do you wrong is for you to come right back at them and treat them the same way they treated you. I am not ashamed to admit that this is how I use to be. If you had something to say that I perceived as mean, I would fire back at you and bite your head off. I behaved this way even when I was Christian.
Now, I am quite the opposite. I have grown. I know how to let things go and forgive, not because I want to, but it is because God wants me to. People who do not know how I used to be perceive this as a weakness. What people do not understand is that it takes more strength to forgive and be nice to those who have done wrong things to you than it does to be mean to them.
The Bible states, “If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that” (Matthew 5:47).
It is easy to hate those who hate you or to repay evil for evil, but if you chose to do that, then how would anyone be able to identify you as a Christian. As a Christian, you are called to step away from the world and step toward Christ. That means you are suppose to imitate the behavior of Christ. We are all called to conform our ways and to do what is hard, even if the world does not understand us.
I know it’s hard to forgive, to accept, and to be nice to your enemies. I know what it is like to be hated and talked about. To be punished for sticking with my beliefs and for not going main stream on certain issues. To be hated for no reason and ostracized. To be laughed at and be called crazy for my belief in Christ.
But I have come to learn that my reward does not come from man. My reward comes from God, and as long as I am doing and behaving the way God wants me to behave then I have nothing to worry about. We do not need to retaliate when treated poorly, but instead, we should be following the words of Christ by loving our enemies as ourselves.
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Sophia Reed is a single mother of one. She has a master’s degree in Human Services specializing in marriage, couple, and family therapy/ counseling, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Human Behavior. Sophia is a Christian, and enjoys meshing her Christian values with her education and experiences.