Thursday, September 1, 2011

Loving Your Enemies

Matthew 5:43-44
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

Recently I posted a bible verse on my FaceBook page that instructs Christians to love our enemies and pray for those that despitefully use us.  In a matter of seconds of posting this verse, I received several "I likes" and personal comments from my FB friends about this particular expectation of a Christian.

I was particularly struck by a comment written by one of my good friends. He essentially stated that "loving his enemies" was not something that he could do. Matter of fact he went on to state that what he really wished and wanted for his enemies could not be stated in a public space like FB.(smile)

I appreciated my friend's honesty and frankness.  At some point we all have felt like my friend in our lives.  I think it's a normal human reaction to be angry when we are faced with circumstances created by people in our lives that betray, lie, misuse and/or abuse us.

However, this particular verse is one of my favorites in the bible.  For me, the beauty of this bible verse is that it forces each of us to tap into our higher selves. Loving someone that has tried to "do you in" requires one to access love on a higher level! It takes FAR more spiritual muscle and strength to love someone that has done something hurtful to you.  I mean-- you have to reach WAAAAYYY down in your spirit to pull on the power of love! WHEW!!

A couple of years ago, after experiencing a personal betrayal it was revealed to me that "loving your enemies" is really an opportunity for us to grow spiritually and experience unconditional love.  This particular aspect of love blesses the individual through the process and sends healing energy to those that have hurt us deeply. 

Praying for those that "despitefully use you" also forces each of us to move outside the "ego" and tap into the part of our human spirit that is filled with compassion, love and forgiveness. Ultimately, I feel that the Christian charge to"love your enemies" is also a reminder that we are all humans that "fall short of the glory of God" but redemption and forgiveness is always accessible, available and possible through Jesus Christ.

It's easy to love someone we like.... but it takes TRUE spiritual grounding to sincerely love someone that we feel has wronged us. I think "loving your enemies" is the essential foundational belief that framed the civil rights movement in this country. Unfortunately, I have seen this "loving your enemies" be exploited and misrepresented--but I'll deal with that in another blog! 

I really think the core lessons of the civil rights movement were lost in the historical translation and playback of events.  The movement wasn't about "black folks liking white folks" or vice versa.  This was a "love movement" that was grounded in accountability, forgiveness, and redemption!  

Love isn't about our personal likes and dislikes of other people or disappointments with others--but ultimately we are spiritually charged by God to love every human being unconditionally!

What would the world look like if we ALL loved each other unconditionally???????  Each day God is molding me and teaching me that it's truly...

 "ALL About Love"

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