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with enemies like this, who needs friends?
“‘...my enemy,’ Ahab said to Elijah.” —1 Kings 21:20
How good to have an enemy like Elijah the prophet! Elijah prophesied to his enemy, Ahab (1 Kgs 21:19ff). Those prophetic words cut to Ahab’s heart and led him to repentance and fasting (1 Kgs 21:27). Ahab’s heartfelt reaction to the prophecy of his enemy even spared him from destruction during his lifetime (1 Kgs 21:29). “For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed?” (1 Sm 24:20) Or does a man send his enemy away blessed, prayed for, and enriched? Elijah, the enemy, sent Ahab home repentant and spared from destruction.
The litmus test of a Christian is to love one’s enemies (Mt 5:44). “This will prove that you are [children] of your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:45). Even should our enemies persecute us, we are called to imitate Jesus by forgiving them and praying for them. Finally, we lay down our life for our enemies out of love. Acting in this way leads us to be “made perfect,” as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).
Take a moment and think of two people who have hurt you the most. Beg God for the extraordinary grace required to love these two people. With Jesus, say: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). Repent of any hatred of enemies.
Prayer: Father, may I treat my enemies as Jesus did: praying for them, forgiving them, and laying down my life for them (Rm 5:8, 10).
Promise: You must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” —Mt 5:48
Praise: When Patricia allowed the Holy Spirit to be stirred into flame in her life, she experienced Jesus’ promise of true life in abundance (Jn 10:10).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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