Love Your Enemies
44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
As I sit and ponder this passage, I think who IS my enemy? In biblical times an enemy might be referred to as someone who is committed to my destruction. But in 2017, in most cases, it is far less catastrophic. So, WHO is my enemy? If I think about the people who cause me great annoyance or frustration, it makes me feel as though I am very petty. This would include the person who doesn’t use his blinker when driving. The person who doesn’t say “thank you” when I hold the door. The person who doesn’t use the recycling bin to throw away his bottle even though it is close by.
When Matthew wrote this scripture I’m sure he was thinking of enemies who steal, cheat, murder and plot against us, and still…he tells us to love them. He tells us that God is perfect in his forgiveness and so we should be just as he is…LOVE.
What do WE and these enemies in our life have in common? WE are all human. WE are all children of God. WE are all experiencing the same sun rise (good times) and the rain (bad times). As Stephen Kendrick said:
“Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.”
I believe that especially this Lenten season my mission or goal is to treat these irritations and the people who cause them, with compassion, tolerance and love. I will try my best with God’s help to bless them for we don’t know what turbulent weather they are experiencing in their lives right now. It is said “When you love your enemies, you reveal what kind of God our God is.”
Daily Prayer: Dear God, help me to love and forgive people that may frustrate me and see them through your eyes of love. Amen.