There is no gain from hate. There is no growth from murder. Should Christians feel the need to take revenge for a slight, a wrong, perceived or otherwise, the command is clear:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
Jesus said this knowing fully well that His appointed time would require Him to give His life for the sins of others, bearing their cross and forgiving those who would torture Him, simply because He was telling the truth.
The expected reward for which a Christian would hope is not to suffer at the hands of others for doing good. However quite often, that is not the case. Quite often, in fact, we will suffer trials for the very good we do. And unlike what certain churches preach today, those same trials will be at the hands of our enemies.
It is in those occasions when Jesus’ words ring crisp. For how easy is it to love those who love us? But to love our enemies as ourselves requires God’s love to flow through us by the Holy Spirit so that it is not us receiving the glory for our forgiveness but God. And if we take a moment to see through the eyes of our enemies, we may understand their heart and take pity on them. For we, too, never knew the truth about forgiveness and about how it would free us from bitterness had God not shown it to us through Christ Jesus’ sacrifice.
Oh, how great the power of forgiveness truly is when we bless our enemies!