the first place we read jesus discussing love is concerning loving those who are your enemies in matthew 5:43-48.
love your enemies
pray for those who persecute you
i find it interesting that jesus reminds us of the fact that god sees the unrighteous and
still CHOOSES to cause the sun to rise for them.
still CHOOSES to cause the rain to fall for them.
god does not choose to express his love ONLY those who love him back; god does not only reach out to greet those who are wanting to be in the family. god does reach for those who are not in his family. god clearly illustrates that he CHOOSES to love, even those who don’t choose to love him. you will never find in scripture an exception to this idea. god is always loving those, even if they choose not to love him (we can argue about what is just with love in another post).
it is hard to choose to love those who do not love back. one thing christians can do, when found in a place of fighting or resisting the choice to love, is search the heart for any areas of unforgiveness. at one point, in all our lives, we have been offended at something someone has said or done to us. christ references this in matthew 24:12. lawlessness will increase, wrongs will be committed, and in turn most people’s love will grow cold. a significant barrier to the ability to choose love is a heart that has grown cold and hard due to lawlessness or injustice committed.
before you can choose to love you must choose to forgive
ultimately what gives love its wonderfully divine power is not mutual at all, but rather, unconditional, as our heavenly father has displayed many times over. jesus described this kind of love wondering what good is it, only loving someone who loves you back?!?!
you life will be changed by choosing to love even your enemies and those who wish you harm.