Read Luke 6:27-36
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”
These verses are indeed very challenging. They are difficult because revenge is the way of the world. And to the question, is it possible to love our enemies, most people will not only say it isn’t but nor is it right to do so.
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbours and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people” (G.K Chesterton).
When reading this passage you need to keep in mind that Jesus is using a way of teaching used by Rabbis and called ‘rabbonic hyperbole’. This adds emphasis by exaggeration much as we would say when eating a good chocolate muffin 'I could eat a million of these’ . So turning the other cheek doesn’t mean that we allow ourselves to be abused. Also these words and the command to love here do not mean that we ought to have ‘good feelings’ towards our enemies. Rather, as we take the pain and difficult situation deeply into prayer, we are given the grace to act to the contrary of our natural inclination and to love like God loves. We start out by praying for them and with God’s healing grace dispose ourselves to be ready to do good to those who have mistreated us.
Lord today by your grace I choose to pray for those who have mistreated me in one way or another and to be ready to do good to them if the need arises.