Every month, a brief summary of a Bible Study session by Pastor Johnson will be featured. To learn and enjoy an entire session, please come to our Bible Study sessions held every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. You’ll be glad you did!
How to Handle Your Enemies!
Dr. Brodie I. Johnson, Pastor, Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church
Luke 6:27-34 27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
You don’t have to do anything to have enemies; everybody has some. You can just show up on the job and folks will dislike you. You’re wondering, “What did I do?” People don’t need a reason. Even if you say, “I’m going to pray about it”, they’ll dislike you. Enemies appear early in the Bible; the Bible is filled with conflicts, folks fighting all the time. There are enemies in your family – sometimes you can be sleeping with them. Get a new car, some new rings; you’ll have some enemies.
Many of you are depressed because of your enemies. You’ll tell folks off when your enemies attack you the wrong way. Luke 6:27 tells us to “…Love your enemies”. The problem with the text is that it says, “…you which hear”. Everyone is not interested in hearing when it comes to dealing with your enemies. Make sure you learn how to approach people properly. Don’t go hollering, raising your voice, and acting all foolish! The Spirit will not strive with man always. “Love your enemies”, 90% of folks struggle with this. It’s hard to do good to folks who just got through doing something bad to you.
The “…do good to them” part is growth for a Christian. You have to do good to folks who just divorced you, left you; folks who you walked up on and they were talking about you. Doing good is a sacrifice. Usually, you don’t know in certain areas who your enemy is, but when you find out – – you still have to do good! “Do good to them which hate you”, there are some people who naturally-born hate you, but you still have to do good. When you have enemies, they will distort things about you. “Bless them that curse you”, you have to say something kind to them – this is growth for every believer. “And pray for them which despitefully use you”, folks will use you; there’s a difference between being “needy” and being “greedy”. The problem is that you don’t pray for them because you spend too much time trying to tell them off!
You have to pray a blessing upon them if you want God to bless you. You have to go to the hospital to see them; give them an encouraging word. It’s easy to love folks who love you, but what about folks who dropped you off and made you bump your head? That’s GROWTH! Hearing the word of God will plant a seed in you. Every time an enemy attacks you from that point on — you’ll start thinking about it first. Acknowledging where you are is the first step. Matthew 6:11 says, “…forgive us our debts” — you know you have a list of things that you need God to forgive you for. You need to plead the blood of Jesus about forgiveness. Start praying the prayer of forgiveness because sometimes you can make someone guilty who is not.
Repentance and forgiveness must go together. Repentance is being Godly sorry and then making up your mind that you will not do it again. “…as we forgive our debtors” — relinquish the past. You can forgive them. It may take some time, but you can forgive them.
Start thinking about how many times God has forgiven you!