Animus, Curses, Mistreatment? Love is the Answer (Luke 6:26-28, NIV) by Carley Evans


27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Jesus tells His listeners — those who attend to His Words — to love their enemies, to do good to those who hate them, and to pray for those who mistreat them. He does not tell His listeners — those who follow after Him — to hate, curse, or mistreat their foes.

The love Jesus calls us to is not lip-service. Love is not saying, “Oh you didn’t hurt me with your cruel words” or “you didn’t damage my life with your unfair actions against me”. Rather love recognizes the harm done and calls on us to turn the other cheek. Love demands we go out of our way to do good in response to evil.

Love does not hide. God tells us that perfect loves literally drives out fear. And, perfect love keeps no record of wrongs, reminds Paul. Love never fails, never angers, never gives up.

We are to persevere in the face of mistreatment. We are never to return an insult with an insult of our own. We are never to be bitter when evil appears to succeed. Rather we are to pray — and we are not to pray for our enemy’s demise, but we are to pray for our enemy’s benefit.

Love desires what is best for the other — always.

 

“Provoke Not” ( Matthew 5:11-12, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Jesus does say that we are blessed and should be joyful when “men shall curse [us]” for Him.

“Blessed be ye, when men shall curse you, and shall pursue you [and pursue you], and shall say all evil against you lying, for me. Joy ye, and be ye glad [full out], for your meed is plenteous in heavens; for so they have pursued the prophets also that were before you.”

And Jesus warns:

Woe to you, when all men shall bless you; after these things the fathers of them did to [false] prophets. (Luke 6:26)

But I beg to differ that Jesus asks us to provoke His enemies. Rather Jesus calls us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us and spitefully misuse us. He says:

But I say to you that hear, love ye your enemies, do ye well to them that hated you [do ye well to them that hate you];bless ye men that curse you, pray ye for men that defame you [pray ye for men that falsely challenge you]. (Luke 6:27-28)

Jesus doesn’t call on us to challenge His or our enemies. He doesn’t call on us to defame them or hate them. He tells us to love them and to do well to them.