What does the Bible say about enemies?
This topic is something we all struggle with at times. We feel like how can I love someone that keeps sinning against me? They give me no reason to love them. To me this is a reflection of the gospel. Do you give God a reason to love you? A Christian sins before a holy God yet he still pours out his love unto us. There was a time when you were an enemy of God, but Christ loved you and saved you from the wrath of God.
You can’t learn to love your enemy unless you are a new creation. You can’t be a new creation unless you are saved. If you’re not saved or not sure, then please click the link above. It is extremely important.
When you are loving your enemies it helps you conform into the image of Christ. Our first response to something shouldn’t be to throw up our middle finger or to get into a fighting stance. If you are a Christian you have to remember you are being watched like a hawk by unbelievers. You can be doing everything right, but as soon as you sin once, unbelievers will have something to say.
We must be a good example to others. That coworker, family member, bad friend, or boss probably has never seen a true Christian. You’re probably the only one who can share the gospel message with them. We must remain calm and forgive. Easier said than done right. That is why you must rely on the Holy Spirit. Tell God that you can’t do it on your own and you need his help. Pray for yourself, pray for the other person, and pray for help.
Christian quotes about loving your enemies
“You never so touch the ocean of God’s love as when you forgive and love your enemies.” Corrie Ten Boom
“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies: probably because they are generally the same people.” G.K. Chesterton
“[God] bestows His blessings without discrimination. The followers of Jesus are children of God, and they should manifest the family likeness by doing good to all, even to those who deserve the opposite.” F.F. Bruce
“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” Robert Murray McCheyne
“A person should respond not on the basis of how one is treated but on the basis of how one wants to be treated. Maybe nothing happens to enemies. They may hate one all the more, but incredible things happen within the one who lives this ethic out. Hate has nowhere to go except inside. Love frees up energy.”David Garland
“The best way to destroy an enemy is to turn him into a friend.” F.F. Bruce
“Cherish your enemies; they may be blessings in disguise.” Woodrow Kroll
“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Love, bless and pray for your enemies. You want to be like Jesus? You want to stop evil from spreading? You want to turn your enemy into your friend? You want to see evidence of the Holy Spirit in you? You want to root out all bitterness in your heart? You want to put aside the defeating victim attitude? Then show the humility of Christ, take the moral high ground and, Romans 12:21, “Overcome evil with good.” Don’t be natural. Be unnatural. It’s hard to hate someone when God gives you a supernatural love for that person.” Randy Smith
“Those who are difficult to love, are difficult to love because they have gone through difficult things which have made them the way they are. What you need to do is to forgive, what they need is your love.” Jeanette Coron
“Nature teaches us to love our friends, but religion our enemies.” Thomas Fuller
“Assuredly there is but one way in which to achieve what is not merely difficult but utterly against human nature: to love those who hate us, to repay their evil deeds with benefits, to return blessings for reproaches. It is that we remember not to consider men’s evil intention but to look upon the image of God in them, which cancels and effaces their transgressions, and with its beauty and dignity allures us to love and embrace them.” John Calvin
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“What is perfection in love? Love your enemies in such a way that you would desire to make them your brothers … For so did He love, Who hanging on the Cross, said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Saint Augustine
“Agape is disinterested love. Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friend and enemy; it is directed toward both.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“In Jesus and for Him, enemies and friends alike are to be loved.” Author: Thomas a Kempis
“As love to God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in Him. They will look to God as their all and seek their happiness in portion in His favor, and thus not in the allotments of His providence alone. The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch. Charity and Its Fruits.” Jonathan Edwards
“Love’s question is never who to love – because we are to love everyone – but only how to love most helpfully. We are not to love merely in terms of feeling but in terms of service. God’s love embraces the entire world (John 3:16), and He loved each of us even while we were still sinners and His enemies (Rom. 5:8-10). Those who refuse to trust in God are His enemies; but He is not theirs. In the same way, we are not to be enemies of those who may be enemies to us.” John MacArthur
We are to love everyone
These passages are not only talking about people who like us they’re talking about everybody.
1. Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
2. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
3. John 13:34 “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you.”
4. Romans 12:10 “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.”
5. Philippians 2:3 “Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.”
Bible verses about doing good to your enemies
Do good to those who don’t like you.
6. Luke 6:27-32 “But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you. If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. Do to others what you would want them to do to you . If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them.
7. Matthew 5:41-48 And if one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles. When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
8. Galatians 6:10 “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
David had a chance to kill his enemy Saul, but he didn’t.
9. 1 Samuel 24:4-13 The men said to David, “Today is the day the Lord spoke of when he said, ‘I will give your enemy over to you. Do anything you want with him.’” Then David crept up to Saul and quietly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Later David felt guilty because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “May the Lord keep me from doing such a thing to my master! Saul is the Lord’s appointed king. I should not do anything against him, because he is the Lord’s appointed king!” David used these words to stop his men; he did not let them attack Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went his way. When David came out of the cave, he shouted to Saul, “My master and king!” Saul looked back, and David bowed facedown on the ground. He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when people say, ‘David wants to harm you’? You have seen something with your own eyes today. The Lord put you in my power in the cave. They said I should kill you, but I was merciful. I said, ‘I won’t harm my master, because he is the Lord’s appointed king.’ My father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe, but I didn’t kill you. Now understand and know I am not planning any evil against you. I did nothing wrong to you, but you are hunting me to kill me. May the Lord judge between us, and may he punish you for the wrong you have done to me! But I am not against you. There is an old saying: ‘Evil things come from evil people.’ But I am not against you.
Love your neighbors and enemies: The Good Samaritan.
10. Luke 10:29-37 But the teacher of the Law wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered, “There was once a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also came there, went over and looked at the man, and then walked on by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he told the innkeeper, ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’” And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbor toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.” Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.”
Help your enemies.
11. Romans 12:14-21 Wish only good for those who treat you badly. Ask God to bless them, not curse them. When others are happy, you should be happy with them. And when others are sad, you should be sad too. Live together in peace with each other. Don’t be proud, but be willing to be friends with people who are not important to others. Don’t think of yourself as smarter than everyone else. If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone. My friends, don’t try to punish anyone who does wrong to you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one who punishes; I will pay people back.” But you should do this: “If you have enemies who are hungry, give them something to eat. If you have enemies who are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will make them feel ashamed.” Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.
12. Proverbs 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.
13. Luke 6:35 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.
14. Exodus 23:5 Whenever you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, don’t leave it there. Be sure to help him with his animal.
15. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
16. John 13:33-35 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
17. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 I may speak in different languages, whether human or even of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am only a noisy bell or a ringing cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may understand all secrets and know everything there is to know, and I may have faith so great that I can move mountains. But even with all this, if I don’t have love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have to help others, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing by doing all this if I don’t have love. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end. But all those gifts will come to an end—even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge.
18. Romans 12:9-11 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
19 . Matthew 5:8-12 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.
20. Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.
21 . Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
22. 1 Corinthians 4:12 “We wear ourselves out doing physical labor. When people verbally abuse us, we bless them. When people persecute us, we endure it.”
23. 1 Peter 4:8 “Most important of all, love each other deeply, because love makes you willing to forgive many sins.”
Jesus loved His enemies: Be imitators of Christ.
24. Luke 13:32-35 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
25. Ephesians 5:1-2 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Pray for your enemies like Jesus did.
26. Luke 23:28-37 But Jesus turned and said to them, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the women who cannot have children and who have no babies to nurse.’ Then people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ And they will say to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ If they act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come?” There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be put to death. When they came to a place called the Skull, the soldiers crucified Jesus and the criminals—one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.” The soldiers threw lots to decide who would get his clothes. The people stood there watching. And the leaders made fun of Jesus, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is God’s Chosen One, the Christ.” The soldiers also made fun of him, coming to Jesus and offering him some vinegar. They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
Examples of loving your enemies in the Bible: Praying for them like Stephen did.
27. Acts 7:52-60 Your ancestors tried to hurt every prophet who ever lived. Those prophets said long ago that the One who is good would come, but your ancestors killed them. And now you have turned against and killed the One who is good. You received the law of Moses, which God gave you through his angels, but you haven’t obeyed it.” When the leaders heard this, they became furious. They were so mad they were grinding their teeth at Stephen. But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right side. He said, “Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at God’s right side.” Then they shouted loudly and covered their ears and all ran at Stephen. They took him out of the city and began to throw stones at him to kill him. And those who told lies against Stephen left their coats with a young man named Saul. While they were throwing stones, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell on his knees and cried in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After Stephen said this, he died.
Don’t make fun of your enemy or rejoice when something bad happens to them.
28. Proverbs 24:17-20 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.
29. Obadiah 1:12-13 You should not gloat over your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.
30. Job 31:29-30 “Have I ever rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies, or become excited when harm came their way? No, I have never sinned by cursing anyone or by asking for revenge.
Let the past go and forgive your enemy
31. Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
32. Isaiah 43:18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Biblical advice to help you love your enemies
33. Colossians 3:1-4 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
34. Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
35. Proverbs 4:25 “Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.”
James 1:2-5 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him.