Loving Your Enemies

At this time of Advent, maybe it’s time to revisit one of Jesus’ sayings that everyone seems to love in theory but which is a bit more difficult to live out in everyday life.

Love your enemies.

It’s easy to love those who love you and treat you right all the time. Anyone can do that.

Loving those who hurt you is way more difficult. Forgiving and yet at the same time not enabling them is hard.

Coming on the heels of the latest election, this command of Jesus has never sounded more timely.

Love your enemies.

Even the ones who voted for Clinton? Even the ones who voted for Trump? Yes.

There are no exceptions in this command. There are no loop holes.

Love your enemies.

Jesus never gives you an out or an excuse to be disobedient to His commands.

He said, “Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.”

Notice that Jesus did not say, “Love those who agree with you, think like you, and vote the way you do, and shame the ones who don’t.”

He didn’t say, “Demonize all those who think differently than you and lump them all into one stereotype.”

He said, “Love you enemies.” Period.

He didn’t just say it. He lived it out. He kept His mouth shut while His own enemies falsely accused Him and had Him crucified. He even went so far as to forgive His enemies in the very act of their murdering Him.

God in Jesus loved us when we were His enemies, as far from the promise as we could possibly be. He loved those who would forever reject His love and spit on His gift to them.

To love your friends is easy. To love your enemies is hard. No, it’s impossible apart from the divine. When you love those who persecute you is when you are the most like Jesus.

Love your enemies. The end.

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