Your Enemies

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Eric Liddell had every reason to feel hate. Like many other missionaries, he had remained in China after the Japanese invaded that land in the opening days of World War II. For safety reasons, his wife and children had been forced to return to Canada. The risks for Liddell remained high, but he continued to serve. Finally, in 1943, the area where Liddell was based was taken over by the Japanese. Liddell found himself in the Wei Hsien camp, which became their prison.

Even though he had been a world-class athlete (and the inspiration for the movie Chariots of Fire), he had given up everything to serve God as a missionary. He had been faithful, and maintained a consistent example of serving and being helpful. Yet when the Japanese invaded China, their good deeds didn’t seem to matter.

Although conditions in the camp were terrible, Liddell continued to demonstrate how faith in Jesus had transformed his life. He showed kindness to everyone, even loving the unlovable. One example was when he erected a bookshelf for a Russian prostitute. She later said he was the only person in her entire life who had done something nice for her without asking anything in return.

What amazed other prisoners was how Liddell continued to show love for his enemies. One missionary later wrote that “the best thing” Liddell gave him “was his baton of forgiveness. He taught me to love my enemies, the Japanese, and to pray for them.”

Liddell influenced so many because he remained committed to Christ in every situation. He just didn’t talk about his faith, but lived it, in a way that everyone could see.

This is the model that Jesus left for us. To be different. Not to be ruled by circumstances but to stay faithful to the Father. To be examples of Christ-like love in every situation. To love even our enemies.