Sunday, July 17, 2005

On Loving Enemies

Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:44-45)

Human logic tells us to love our neighbor and hate our enemy. God's logic tells us to love even our enemies. Such a request stretches beyond the limits set by reason and prudence.

All love is a risk. To love is to open oneself to the possibility of sorrow and pain. Loving an enemy is an invitation to suffer. Everyone has experienced enough pain trying to love friends and neighbors to know better than to invest love in an enemy.

But the Lord's words are more than a request. They are a command. We have no other option if we are to show ourselves to be sons of the heavenly Father.

God demands a lot. But, he always gives more than he asks of us. Loving an enemy is nothing less than what God has done for us. "When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son." (Rom. 5:10 NIV)

Such love is not reasonable or effortless but it is redemptive.

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