Love Thy Enemy
Matthew 5:43-45,“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
I caught myself laughing when my enemy began suffering. I remember thinking things such as:
God is finally punishing them for all of the evil things they did to me...
God is showing them that I am His child...
They are getting what they deserve...
I am so thankful that none of us "get what we deserve." Looking on social media nowadays makes my heart feel like an empty stomach craving peace after an entire night of vomiting. It is impossible to log on to Facebook without seeing individuals gloating and filled with joy because of their enemies failures.
When will we realize that God is troubled when He sees His children tear down one another?
The other political party? They are children of God.
The other religion? They are children of God.
The other nation? They are children of God.
The terrible driver on the roundabout? They are... still children of God (exhale).
Jesus, while establishing a New Covenant during his life on earth, challenges us to not only love our enemies, but also pray for those that persecute us. When was the last time we prayed for the person we consider evil? And I don't mean praying that their heart or actions will change. While the intent behind these prayers are often pure, these prayers typically stem from a place of pride. I mean actually pray for them and praying that their life will be filled with blessings and joy. It is easy for us to love people from a distance and pray for people's heart to change, but Jesus challenges us to walk with people day in and day out and pray for people to find Joy through Him (see Philippians 2:3-4).
Jesus took the "love thy enemy" thing seriously.
And so should we.