LOVING ENEMIES

LOVING ENEMIES

Loving enemies has to be one of the hardest of Jesus’ commands to obey. It just doesn’t seem to be “in our nature.” (And anyone who says it is, I would question as to whether they’re really doing what Jesus was talking about!

Would Jesus give such a command for no reason? Obviously not. What then, we should ask ourselves, is th4e purpose of such a command? To get our enemies saved? Perhaps, for that does happen sometimes. To work more of His love & life in us? Surely. But I sense somehow an even deeper purpose.

Somehow, on the deepest level, loving our enemies is connected with our own salvation, & the clarity of our relationship w/ God. B/c He loved us when we were His enemies, & sent Jesus to die in our stead & for us, we are indeed called to be reflections of this glory He demonstrated. And somehow therein lies one of the strands of our salvation.

I was reminded of this today as someone at church [Marti T.] shared how she had been humbled in her attitude toward her brother-in-law, who had abandoned a wife w/ young kids only to come back years later, repentant. For the past two years (the time he has been back), Marti had had a difficult time forgiving, or at least feeling forgiveness. Recently, however, the brother-in-law was instrumental in helping Marti’s out-of-work husband secure a very nice job. “Now,” she says, “I have to be thankful for him with every paycheck!”

I shared with her my experience of literally having an enemy save my physical life [see the earlier entry on ENEMIES].

So, though I don’t understand it, I have to say I’ve experienced it personally: Our enemies can (quite literally, even) be instruments of our own salvation!

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