When the world was making all the most out of the concept of "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth," Jesus was overturning expectations and cultures by commanding believers in Matthew 5:44, saying "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
So what does it mean to "love our enemies?" Does that mean we have to build relationships and ties with them? Be generous toward them?
The context that Jesus was using here was to love in the area of showing kindness and compassion toward those who have areas of bitterness for or have caused offense toward you. While God told us to love our enemies, there are some things that he never told us to do to them.
Here are how Christians act regarding their enemies even when God didn't necessarily tell them to do so.
While God wants us to love our enemies, it would be foolishness to throw all trust into them. There is wisdom in refusing to hand over the knife that will be used to stab you in the back. While God called us to act in compassion toward enemies, there is no need to work with, partner with or build ties with them.
Stay enemies with them forever
God doesn't desire that we stay enemies with people who malign or offend us. While threats to life are a totally different story, when strife is caused by opposing interests and broken promises, the goal is always to experience redemption and forgiveness. Proverbs 16:7 says, "When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."
The ultimate goal of every relationship dysfunction is to be restored through the working of the Holy Spirit. I'm not implying that we should force forgiveness into the picture, but that we remain sensitive to God's move in our lives and in the lives of our enemies and to be obedient when God calls the time right for reconciliation.
Pay attention to their mistakes
We want to experience forgiveness toward our enemies, yes, but while that's still under process, are we allowed to watch them get hurt? Or even to pay attention to the things they do wrong (or even the things they do right)?
While it's good that you are watching out for others, it's not wise to watch out for your enemies' mistakes. Proverbs 24:17 tells us, "Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice."