Loving Your Enemies
Sermon by: Johnny Sharkawi
Article by: St Mark’s Youth
What does it mean to be a Christian?
What differentiates Christianity from any other religion?
Simply – Love.
“44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” – Matthew 5:44-45
So what is love? And what does it mean to love?
There is a deeper understanding which Christ has shown by His example, through being crucified on the cross for us. He has shown us something that is far greater than we are capable of doing on our own. Because God is love and as we are created in God’s image, we are created with love installed within us. However, it takes daily reminders through prayer and repentance in order to renew the love in our hearts, to the point that we can even love our enemies.
But how do we do good to those who hate us?
The more we love God, then the more we take from his love and are able to love others. And so the closer I come to realising that I have been forgiven by God, then I begin to ask myself who am I to not forgive my brother? The solution to loving our enemies is simply to love God and to realise that we are in fact that enemy that was and is forgiven by God. Hating our enemies, ridiculing them and seeking revenge for their hurting us can only be done by someone blinded with dirt in their eyes to not see the hypocrisy in the action. This dirt comes from sin and evil thoughts like hatred and lustful desires. And so we need to wash out our eyes so we can see clearly, just as God wants us to see. We need to wash our eyes daily to see how Christ wants us to see Him in others.
We do this through repentance and prayer, which is the only way to clean our eyes in order to look at our neighbours with love. And when we pray, we beg the Lord for a repentant and loving heart.
We are not of this world, and as Christ says “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” So why do we jeopardise our salvation with worldly matters and things such as having hatred towards our neighbours?
Glory be to God forever Amen.