Enemies

JD-ex
JD-ex
Sep 2, 2016, 8:02 PM |
1

by HJS

How should we deal with our enemies? Jesus broke with accepted practices when He said, "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 sons 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" (Matthew 5:43-45). And Paul, in the same spirit, wrote, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head" (Romans 12:20). 

In a world that practices "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," is it possible to love and pray for our enemies? Only if you are secure in knowing that you are God's child, allowing the Holy Spirit to empower you and remembering to whom you are accountable.

Every enemy is somebody's son or daughter. They also have their own feelings, aspirations and hopes for the future. Flannery O' Connor was right when she said, "It is hard to make your adversaries real people unless you recognize yourself in them - in which case, if you don't watch out, they cease to be adversaries."

At times it is our enemies who bring us to our knees in repentance and humility, knowing that with sin present in our lives, we have no right to throw the first stone. It is the cross of Christ, where we kneel, that we lose our identities as enemies - and become reconciled as brothers and sisters, forgiven and reunited.

 

"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 sons 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."  ROMANS 5:43-45