(Really) Loving Your Enemy


“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” -Jesus of Nazareth

I think about this mantra of Jesus quite frequently.  How do I love my enemies?  I think the first step is identifying who our enemies are.

For me, I never really feel like I have enemies.  Is it an extremist-Muslim?  Is it the gay community?  Is it the liberal media?  Is it MTV?  Is it Hulu? (PS – It’s only Hulu if they go to a subscription-based model instead of ad-based. Then they are definitely the enemy).

Or on an individual level.  Is it the co-worker who constantly talks about themselves?  Is it the person in church who treated you wrong a long time ago and the very thought of them makes you well-up with anger?  Or your boss who you know is lazier than you?  Or the person who is always stirring up drama, but “hates all the drama at work”?

Who knows.  I don’t always even know who my enemies are.  But I think it’s important to stop for a minute and think about who our enemies could be.  That way, we could at least try to show these people love.  And not just a half-hearted hello, but making that person feel loved.

I believe this is the most difficult command in all the land, but also one of the most important ways reconciliation can take place.

So, what would it look like for you to love your enemy?  Would you treat anyone differently?  Who are your “enemies”?

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