“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:43-45


Around thirty years ago when I started following God I prayed, “Fill me with your love, God, and help me share it with others.” A distinctly warm feeling that I’ll never forget filled my heart. After that, sharing God’s love with others became natural for me – no effort required. And, as I gave his love to others, I felt it returned to me, over and over. I realized I had become transformed.

Would the love of God protect me from a painful relationship that later developed? Would I be able to keep loving though I was badly hurt?

Some of you will remember the poem If by Rudyard Kipling that I have talked about. Often a line or two comes to mind, reminding me of a meaningful truth. Not long ago, the following lines came to my attention and reminded me of what Jesus had said about loving our enemies, even those who persecute us: “Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or, being hated, don’t give way to hating.”

I thought to myself: I don’t think I usually hate others when I’m hated. Mostly I just hurt.

How is it for you? Do you give way to hating when a person shows hatred for you? Or do you, like me, just hurt?

The question we’re posing here is: “are you able to love in spite of it?”

When you are being hurt by a person you love, and you tell this person that she’s hurting you…and the hurting continues with no remorse shown, nor apology given…must we keep on loving as Jesus tells us to? And if this person ends up despising us, not loving us back, why go on loving?

When we believe in God to be our Father in heaven we will have his character in us and are inclined to act as we see him act. We share the love he has put inside us. All of us who received God’s kingdom as innocent and humble children are growing in his care. He will give us the strength we need to stand up to our enemies, while still showing them love.

Jesus’ words are clear: “love your enemies.” Treat people the way you want to be treated. With this he means that we must keep on loving them, no matter what, “that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (verse 45). With this promise and God’s love in our hearts, we will be empowered to love our enemies, pray for them, and ask God to help them.

The following from Romans 12:21 brings a wonderful positive message that I myself have been clinging to: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” It’s a message that speaks volumes about how God wants us to conquer our difficulties and become victors instead of living as victims.

When we experience evil, we can learn from it and actually use it to do good. For example, I have lived with BPD for a few years now. I have learned what it means to be stigmatized and know the great harm it does. I now feel inspired to try and better things for others – to “overcome evil with good.”

Currently I’m considering my BPD disorder as a gift, something that has caused me a lot of pain but that I can now use to support others. With God’s help and this knowledge, I’m hoping to make a difference.

And, as so often happens, when we help others, we help ourselves as well!

God is good!