Jesus said, “I say to you . . . Love your enemies.”
- Luke 6:27 (NRSV)
“Love your enemies.” What a difficult teaching! How do we love an enemy? Hearing these words and trying to practice them brings God into the hurt and pain and broken places of our lives. And we see faces. Enemies are those who have harmed us or threatened us. But how do we love such people?
Although no one has ever seriously harmed me or my family, I have experienced many threatening situations. And I know many people who have been greatly harmed in body or spirit by the actions of others. Our world needs these words of Jesus if we are to find lasting peace and understanding — a way of life and a way of love that can heal the wounds and bridge the gaps between us. God can help us choose to love rather than hate. Consequently, Jesus’ words challenge us on levels that are real and uncomfortable. Sometimes it may seem easier to keep animosities alive than to love.
Whenever I read Jesus’ words about loving our enemies, I ask myself: Whom do I need to forgive? What old injuries or careless words do I need to forget? Who is the enemy I need to love, and how can I show it? It’s not easy, but today is a good day to begin a new life with an old enemy.
(Indiana, USA) thought for the Day: Today is a good day to begin forgiving. prayer: Dear God of all goodness, make us instruments of your peace, and show us how to love today. Amen.
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