Love Your Enemies

“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 the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even 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

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thoughts 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 you 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.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome with good.” Romans 12:14-21

I do not have the right as a Christian to hate my enemy. I am to love him. I am not to repay anyone evil for evil. I am to feed my enemy or give him something to drink. I am told not to be wise in my own sight. I am not to be overcome by evil, but instead overcome evil with good.

That is very difficult to do in a world where evil is more and more on display. Overcome evil with good. Do not live like the rest of the world lives. Our tendency is to retaliate. Our tendency is to look like those around us. Our tendency is to fight the wrong battles.

I should not be surprised when evil is on display in the world, but I often am more surprised than I should be. When the President and First Lady announced that they had contracted Covid 19 there were those who were actually happy about it. And others who wished that the President would not survive it. Followed by displays of disappointment at his apparent recovery. No matter the political or policy thought behind it, we should not wish that others would get sick and die. Even our worst enemies.

There is a difference in desiring God’s justice to go forth in our world. Or a desire that God would intervene and not allow dictators to kill and harm others any longer. And a hatred that says, I wish you would die. Those are two vastly different things.

On the political spectrum our current President and our current Governor are at the opposite side of policy. But if both had this virus, I would not want one to die and one to live. I would pray that God would heal both of them. That doesn’t mean I have to support every decision that they make. Either of them. I can pray and I can speak out against ungodly policies, but I never am free to wish harm on others. And I should be supportive of godly decisions no matter who makes them.

God has called us as believers to lead in compassion and love. We are to be salt and light. Even with those we might disagree with the most.

May they know we are Christians by our love, and may we pray for the conversion of the enemies of Christ in our world today rather than hope for their death.

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