“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. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
I follow the difficult path towards self-denial found in the Bible. My steps fall in line with the cadence called out in its pages. As my feet struggle with the impulse to stomp my oppressors and pierce their hearts for piercing mine, the words of Jesus, “Love your enemies,” cause me to halt, pivot, and move to the battleground of self-denial. Weary from few rations to feed my selfish desires, I consider being absent without leave to complete a mission of my own design—to wipe out my enemies. As I turn slightly to consider my frontal attack, my commanding officer reminds me, “If anyone loves me, he will deny himself…If anyone loves me, he will obey me.” Why must love be allies with obedience? My heart struggles to accept the rules of engagement found in the Bible. As my eyes linger over the words and my fingers turn the thin pages, my heart softens and I pledge my loyalty anew to follow the words of God, even if it means loving my enemies.
- “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
- Sabbath Evening Post #32: Love Your Enemies (honeybeezbuzz.wordpress.com)
- What You Should Do With Your Enemies (sanctifiedbrother.wordpress.com)