The Same Way

Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Broken and Contrite.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 6:27-36 (NASB).

Love Your Enemies

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

What is an enemy? An enemy is an antagonist, i.e. “one that contends with or opposes another: adversary, opponent” (M-W Dictionary). To oppose someone means to “to act against or provide resistance to; combat; to stand in the way of; hinder; obstruct; to be hostile or adverse to” (

The Bible says that Satan is our adversary, so we are to “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). It also teaches us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but is against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (See: Eph. 6:10-20). So, this is a spiritual battle we are in, and we must fight it with the spiritual weapons of warfare God has provided. Yet, we do have flesh and blood enemies who contend with us who serve the devil’s purposes in coming against us, too. Thus, we must understand our true enemy is Satan, and we must respond to our physical enemies in the way in which Jesus taught us.

Who do we consider to be our enemies, i.e. our opposition? In what ways do they oppose us, combat us, hinder or obstruct us, or how are they hostile to us? Do we think of enemies as only those who are of other religions, or who are atheists, or who are among the unsaved of this world? Could another who professes faith in Jesus Christ act as our enemy? Remember when Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan”? He told him, “You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (See: Matt. 16:23). Why did Jesus say this to Peter? It was because Peter rebuked Jesus when he told his disciples what must soon take place, i.e. concerning his death. Peter served Satan’s purposes by proclaiming this would never happen to Jesus.

Satan loves to whisper in our ear, “God did not really say that. You don’t really have to do that.” And, so we must put on our spiritual armor and answer back with the truth. This IS love! And, it is doing GOOD to our enemies when we tell them the truth and we don’t lie to them. It is not love to placate or enable sin or to give in to our enemies by allowing them to defeat us spiritually and to get us to back down from following our Lord Jesus in obedience. When they curse us, we should answer back with kindness, yet there are times when a strong word of rebuke or correction is called for, and that is also loving and kind and is doing what is good for others, such as Jesus did when he spoke strong words of rebuke to the Pharisees and teachers of the law. It was for their good that they were told the truth.

How to Treat Others

Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

I admit I struggled with this passage of scripture in understanding its true meaning, so I spent some time this morning in prayer, seeking God’s face, inquiring of him as to what this means and how it is to be applied to my life. I believe what he showed me is that this is a picture of forgiveness. When we truly forgive those who hurt us and who mistreat us, we make ourselves vulnerable to be hurt again. It does not mean we enable others to sin against us or that we never confront sin or speak the truth in love to them. Jesus surely told people the truth, he confronted sin and he rebuked those who were acting wickedly. Yet, when we forgive, and we give people another chance, we also risk being hurt again, and again, and again. This IS love! This is how Jesus loves us, too. He has forgiven us. When we sin against him, he restores us, and he gives us another chance, even though we may sin again and again and grieve him greatly. So, how can we not love others like he loves us?

I believe the best way to make certain we are interpreting these words in this passage correctly is to look at the meaning of this last sentence. If I treat others the way in which I want to be treated, what does that mean? Well, if I am truly loving myself and I am acting in full consideration of what is truly best for me, then if I am doing what is harmful or wicked to others I would want to be told the truth and not have someone just avoid me or lie to me just to make me feel good. I would want someone to tell me to “Stop” doing what is wrong and to do what is right. I would hope they would be kind and not too harsh with me, but at the same time I would not want someone to ignore my sinful condition and to just let me go on that way without hope or without recourse for changing my behavior. I also would not want them to just walk away from me just because they couldn’t be bothered with my mess.

Be Merciful

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Admittedly it is much easier to be kind to those who are kind to us. I think that is just human nature. It is much harder to keep loving those who mistreat us over and over again. Yet, how did Jesus love us? Scripture says that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He didn’t go to the cross, taking upon himself the sins of the entire world, because of our goodness. He died for us when we were dead in our sins; when we were his enemies. And, how does he love us now that we know him, when we fall into sin’s deceitfulness again? He won’t pat us on the back and tell us it’s ok and not to worry about it. He will tell us the truth about our sin. He will speak gently to us unless we are persistent in stubborn rebellion, and then he may have to speak with more force to get our attention, but he won’t reject us and he won’t desert us. He will patiently and gently call us to repentance and renewed faith, and he will restore us and will put us back on our feet. He will give us another chance. And, that is how we are to love others, too. If Jesus loves us like this, how can we not love others like that, too?

So, if we have been hurt by another who has come against us as an enemy would, and we desire to have our wounded hearts healed, then we must practice loving our enemies as this passage teaches us, and we must put on our spiritual armor with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. We must forgive, and we must make ourselves vulnerable to be hurt again. We must speak the truth in love, do what is truly good (best) for others, say what is truly kind to them, pray for them, and love them the way Jesus loves us.

Broken and Contrite / An Original Work / May 13, 2012

I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.

Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.

Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.