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, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:43–44)

Sometimes I think human nature tends toward conflict with others.  Though I might half-heartedly complain, “Why can’t we all just get along?” that doesn’t stop me from getting angry and upset when someone comes along and upsets my little apple cart.

I wonder if some of us hide from Jesus’ difficult words about loving our enemies by simply declaring that we don’t have any enemies.  Still, if you’re honest with yourself, there are people that rub you the wrong way.  There are people that cause you trouble.  There are people who break your heart.

So how do I “love” them when I don’t particularly like them?  Start by returning their “curses” with your “blessings”.  Jesus said we ought to work at doing good things for them. He also said we ought to pray for them.  I find that when I’m praying humbly and honestly for someone over a period of time, my heart tends to melt towards them.  Even though I don’t feel like doing good things for them, the act of doing good draws out the love that needs to be there.  Live dangerously.  Love your enemies.