Sunday, June 03, 2007

Love your Enemies

You're familiar with the old written law,
‘Love your friend,’
and its unwritten companion,

‘Hate your enemy.’
I'm challenging that.

I'm telling you to love your enemies.
Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.
When someone gives you a hard time,
respond with the energies of prayer,
for then you are working out of your true selves,
your God-created selves.

This is what God does.

He gives his best-
the sun to warm and the rain to nourish-
to everyone, regardless:
the good and bad,
the nice and nasty.

If all you do is love the lovable,
do you expect a bonus?
Anybody can do that.

Matthew 5:43-46 The Message

12 comments:

  1. This is a good reminder for me. We have lots of family gatherings in the near future with some irritating relatives in the bunch! They surely don't qualify as enemies but it can be a challenge to love them!

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  2. We all need that reminder from time to time. It's a challenge to love your enemy but very effective!

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  3. Thanks for todays tho't. Recently I did a search/study of "heaping coals of fire". It was along the same lines - very tho't provoking. I do enjoy reading from The Message.

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  4. It's my neighbor, Ruth. He's the most awful person (last week I yelled at him to stop shooting birds in my trees). I can't love him, but can I try not to hate him by not thinking about him? My anger towards him gives me great distress. :-(

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  5. Lynne- You can choose your friends but not your family. Whoever coined that phrase was very wise. Kindness is sometimes most difficult on the home front.

    Mary- Challenging, especially if they still respond in anger. Rewarding if they accept the offered love.

    OmaLois- The Message does use phrases that add dimension and meaning. Romans 12:20 is an excellent companion verse!

    RuthieJ- I hear you!! These words are simple but soooo hard. Anger is a natural response and is OK, but if we hold on to it, it hurts us more than the other person. I have a long way to go in putting this into practise, and really cannot do it without God's help. A neighbour who shoots your birds would be a real challenge.

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  6. Much of the time that is so true.often, you bring yourself down when you try to challenge your enemies.

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  7. O my goodness! People just make me wonder!

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  8. The entire sermon on the Mount (or as in Luke--sermon on the Plains) has to be one of the most powerful messages ever delivered. And what a challenge to us humans who want to hate, want to have the best for ourselves, want not to love the unlovable.
    Oh to live this sermon out . . .that is the essence of being Christian.

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  9. It's so true. If we live in anger and hate, it seems more of it is brought into our lives. It's hard, but forgive we must... for us, not for them.

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  10. Larry and Monarch- There is no shortage of disagreeable people to practice this teaching on. If we succeed, we are happier ourselves as Jayne's comment so wisely points out.

    KGMom- The Sermon on the Plains...the first time I have heard that term. I am sure this sermon was repeated more than once. You are so right when you say it is the essence of Christianity. But there is the tendency to muck things up with other rules and theologies!

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  11. That is just so lovely. I've got a couple people in mind that I can practice this wisdom on :0)

    Ruthie j's comment REALLY resonated with me.

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  12. Cathy- I liked RuthieJ's honest comment too. We all have someone that will give us opportunity to practice this principle

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