It is very easy to love our friends, we even see a completely Christian work in this, but loving our enemies is a divine work. It is very easy to love those people who do good to us, but it is not the same to love those people who live having war with you, who constantly make you feel bad.
Let’s see what the book of Matthew tells us about this topic:
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
When we read these verses we get upset and think that we are Christians but not idiots. But this is not the meaning that Jesus gives to the text, rather it teaches us a very different path from the one we had in the old testament, and that is why in verses 43 and 44 He tells us that instead of loving our neighbor and hate our enemies as the ancients said, we should love our enemies, bless those who curse us, we should do good to those who do us wrong and we pray for those who persecute and abuse us.
It is difficult for us to love our enemies and we think that it is impossible. Jesus is still our greatest example, He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him and He still loved them, they mistreated Him and crucified Him and still said in His most tender expression:
Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.
We are sometimes experts in selecting the things we like and we are so experts that we tend to do it with the same Bible. Forgiveness is not negotiable, we can not only forgive those we select, Christ has taught us to forgive and to do good to our cruelest enemy.
At the end of the passage that we analyze in this article, Christ makes us think about loving those who love us too. He asks what is the reward of that action because even the publicans do that same thing.
So, He repeats us again how easy it is to love those who love us and that this does not give us any reward. And in the end we conclude by saying that we should be imitators of our Father who is in Heaven.