Can we love our enemies? On our own it’s hard. Through God’s word, His Holy Spirit, and prayer, He gives us the grace to love our enemies.
The love that God calls us to is extraordinary love. He first showed it to us, when He sent His Son to come into the world and to die for us. He did not die for those who were righteous or who loved Him, He did for sinners, who were His enemies.
Now, He calls us to a new kind of love. Not the love of the world, that loves only those who love them back, but who loves even their enemies, who hate them, spitefully use them, or curse them.
In our own strength, we don’t possess this kind of love, but God’s word provides guidance, and He gives us the ability to love our enemies.
22 Bible Verses on Loving Your Enemies
1. Matthew 5:43-48 – Love Your Enemies
“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.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
2. Proverbs 25:21-22 – Give to Your Enemy In Need
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
3. Luke 6:27-36 – Do Good to those Who Hate You
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.
If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
4. Matthew 7:12 – Treat People How You Want To Be Treated
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
5. Luke 6:28 – Bless Those Who Curse You
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
6. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 – Without Love, We Are Nothing
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
7. Matthew 5:8-12 – Blessed Are The Peacemakers
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
8. Romans 12:9-11 – Love Without Hypocrisy
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
9. Job 31:29-30 – Do Not Sin By Rejoicing Over Your Enemy
“Have I rejoiced at the extinction of my enemy, or exulted when evil befell him? “No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin by asking for his life in a curse.
10. Proverbs 24:17-20 – Don’t Gloat When Your Enemy Falls
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
11. 1 John 4:7 – Love One Another
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
12. Proverbs 20:22 – Do Not Repay Evil
Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
13. Romans 12:14-21 – Do Not Take Revenge
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
14. Proverbs 16:7 – Peace with Your Enemies
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
15. Romans 13:8-10 – Love Each Other
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
16. Romans 5:10 – God Loved Us When We Were His Enemies
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
17. 1 Corinthians 4:12 – Bless When You Are Cursed
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it.
18. 1 Peter 2:23 – Jesus Entrusted Himself to the One Who Judges Justly
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
19. Mark 11:25 – Forgive Those You Have Something Against
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
20. Ephesians 4:32 – Forgive One Another As God Forgave You
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
21. Exodus 23:4-5 – Do Good to Your Enemy
If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.
22. Romans 13:10 – Do Not Harm Your Neighbor
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
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