Love Your Enemies
We see ourselves in scripture often, don't we? I do!
Peter, one of the chosen twelve, drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant at the arrest of Jesus. Peter, has spent some time now with Christ, being taught to love his enemies, yet he strikes one. One side of me has thought, "good for Peter" because he was willing to die with Jesus, having stated once before he would follow Christ to the death only to deny Him three times in short order. But Jesus is quick to tell him to put his sword away, that those who live by the sword will die by it, then he heals the guy's ear. Jesus here shows love, as well as a commitment for God's will to be carried out.
But what about this loving our enemies? How many of us strive daily to love our Lord, but fail to make any effort at all to love our enemies? We may go to extremes in fact to avoid them. We may rejoice when bad things happen to them. Loving our enemies isn't easy at all!
Jesus said, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:27-36
Jesus is clear enough in His teachings isn't He? It's not always so clear to us in the heat of the moment though.
I've still got a ways to go to make good on that command in my life. How about you?