Most of us are pretty good at loving people who love us. Jesus even recognized that!
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 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? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Well, Jesus said it.
I'm not exactly sure how to live it.
But I'm trying...
This morning we asked the staff here at KIVU, "What does it mean to Love Your Enemy?" And I got all kinds of answers.
"This is a more personal thing."
"How do we respond to this in a national interest context?"
"Surely, he doesn't mean to love evil empires, right?"
"Maybe He's just trying to be sarcastic before he gets to the point of living out this Kingdom of God on earth?"
I'm not a Christologist, so I hesitate to make definitive points here, but it seems like Jesus is saying....well..."LOVE YOUR ENEMIES."
Again, I think this is one of the counter cultural arguments for following Jesus. If you think this is some simple minded, easy to follow, crutch for life; I dare you to try this one. Think about the last person that cut you off on the highway. What was your first response?
Think about your fellow employee who got the promotion, while you were the one who did all the work. What did you feel at that moment?
Think about your competitor in business who took over your area without any warning. How do you deal with that?
Living in the context of the Kingdom of God is counter cultural, and requires us to take a serious look at loving people aggressively, even our enemies.