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Thoughts on Loving your Enemies - part one

One of Jesus' unique, powerful and challenging teachings is His command to 'love your enemies'.  The fullest statement of it is found in Luke 6:27-36.  I think many of us don't think much about loving enemies for most of the time.  We tend to surround ourselves with people who like us and generally get on with us.  Like humans everywhere we love those who love us and do good to those who are good to us.

Then all of a sudden we are confronted by a friend, family member, work colleague or another Christian who becomes our enemy through what they do or what they accuse us of doing.  Then the thought may pass through our minds that we should love our enemy but we find it hard to do are not sure what that would look like.

It is hard to learn to love our enemy in the middle of a battle.  But that is true of most things in life.  It is hard to learn to shoot baskets in the middle of a basketball game or to learn to cook a dinner 15 minutes before people need to eat.  If we are serious about learning to shoot baskets or cook dinners, we will make time away from the moments of crisis.  It is the same with loving our enemies.

So the first and fundamental question is:  "Do I want to become the sort of person who loves my enemies, blesses them and actively seeks their good?"  Or do I want to remain a person who fights back seeking to win or  'get even', or a person who just runs away from real or potential enemies (thus avoiding actively seeking their good). 

To become a person who easily and routinely loves our enemies, prays for them and blesses them there are things about us that will need to change.  Initially we may not understand all that that will involve but we start by forming an intention to become that sort of person.

David Wanstall, 31/05/2010