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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