One of the most challenging parts of Christian life is to love your enemies. So, in this devotional, we’ll read Powerful Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies and discover how following this essential command from Jesus will change our hearts and grow our faith.
When someone hurts us it’s human nature to hold onto anger and bitterness. But God’s Word is full of scriptures about how followers of Jesus should act in spite of the pain we feel.
Simply put, we are called to have forgiveness, compassion, and love for everyone we meet. It’s not a suggestion. It is a command from our Savior.
In my personal experience, this aspect of Christianity is the hardest to follow. I’ve been mistreated by someone I trusted many times in my life. And each time it happens, I immediately revert to worldly thoughts. My anger boils up and I want to lash out. But what would that accomplish? It certainly doesn’t show the love of Christ I have inside of my heart.
Instead, the best way to handle the situation is to hold fast to the golden rule laid out in Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:12. And do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Because the truth is, we can’t control people’s actions or how they treat us. But with God’s help, we can rise above and show God’s grace to our so-called enemy.
Whether it was family members, close friends, or complete strangers who hurt you, I pray these Bible Verses about loving your enemies will guide you through the pain and challenge you to find forgiveness and compassion in your heart.
Best Love Your Enemies Bible Verses
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.
Luke 6:27-28 NIV
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48 ESV
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Romans 12:17-20 ESV
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Luke 6:35 NKJV
If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it.
Exodus 23:4-5 NKJV
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Proverbs 24:17 NKJV
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the Lord will reward you.
Proverbs 25:21-22 NKJV
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
Proverbs 25:21-22 NIV
You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, “Do not resist the one who is evil.”
But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:14 KJV
Bible Scriptures about Blessing your Enemies
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat.
1 Corinthians 4:12-13
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9
Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft.
But I, when they were sick— I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning.
Live at Peace with Everyone Bible Verses
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:15
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil;’ Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
Proverbs 20:22 NKJV
Do Not Grow Weary Bible Verse
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV
Do Good to Those Who Hate You
Hate is a strong word. One we probably throw around too much. However, there will be times when we’ll meet people who are against everything we believe in.
The following Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies challenge us to go beyond our natural tendencies of anger and retaliation and instead extend love and kindness to those who oppose our views.
God promises that by doing good to those who hate us, we’re reflecting His very nature of light and love to a dark world.
While we were still sinners and enemies of God, He loved us and gave His only son to save us.
Now it’s our turn to love our “enemies” and lead them toward a path of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Through simple acts of kindness and a little generosity, we can change someone’s heart and open the door to faith in Jesus Christ.
So, let’s read these scriptures and embrace the call to do good to those who hate us, and allow the transformative power of God’s love to guide us in all that we do.
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”
Luke 6:27 ESV
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,”
Proverbs 25:21 ESV
bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
Luke 6:28-30 ESV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9 NKJV
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
1 John 3:17 NIV
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Old Testament Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 NKJV
Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
Jesus’ point in teaching us to love our enemies is bigger than a disagreement among friends. The love we show each other is a direct reflection of the love of God for us, sinful people. And if God could love us so much to send His Son to die on the cross for us, then surely we can love others and reflect Christ’s love in return.
But the only way to do that is to turn to God, ask for forgiveness, and begin shining the radiant light of Jesus into the world!
So, let’s learn what Jesus says about loving our enemies in these Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
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.’”
Luke 13:32-35 NIV
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:33-35 ESV
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 ESV
Love Your Enemies Examples from the Bible
The Bible is full of true stories about loving your enemies. Each one is meant to encourage our daily life and show us how to live in a way that is pleasing to God.
So, let’s dive into some more Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies and follow the example of these Biblical heroes.
Joseph was kind to his Brothers
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.”
So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”
Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.”
Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
The Good Samaritan
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
Stephen Asks God to Forgive the People for Stoning Him
And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
God the Father Showed His Love for Us
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The Apostle Paul Pressed On
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV
As you can see God’s Word is filled to the brim with Powerful Bible Verses about Loving Your Enemies. These inspiring scriptures challenge us to rise above the anger, bitterness, and resentment we feel when someone hurts us. They help us choose love and compassion for those who oppose our point of view. And they remind us that loving our enemies is not a suggestion, but rather a commandment from our Savior Jesus.
As Christians, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus Himself. And although it may not always be easy, the rewards of loving our enemies are immeasurable, leading to forgiveness, reconciliation, and ultimately and a deeper sense of peace and joy in our daily life.
So, let’s embrace these verses with open hearts and minds, and strive to love our enemies as Jesus Christ loves us!