“Love your enemies,You probably are already thinking (like me)... no way am I going to love those (enter your enemies list here). Now, God knows, I’m not a Bible thumper and not very religious; I am a simple student of many subjects. Saint Luke’s admonition is not about religion; it’s about life. Karma. And few appreciate just how much The Bible is about life. Not just way back then, but today. And tomorrow.
do good to them which hate you...”
do good to them which hate you...”
Of course, if everyone in the world were to love their enemies, from our home-grown political adversaries to the leaders of adversarial nations, Iran, North Korea and all the rest, the world would be a far, far better place. But of course, our adversaries won’t, will they? No. In the bloody history of mankind, they never have. And they never will. Count the wars. Count the memorials. Count the crosses near the beaches and in cemeteries around the world.
It’s such a challenge that even Yahweh couldn’t manage it! Exodus (12:29):
“And it came to pass, that at midnight
the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt,
from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne
unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon;
and all the firstborn of cattle.”
Even Jesus, who preached this same theme, had a difficult time controlling his own hate, for example (Revelation 2:6)
...Thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans,
which I also hate.
(“Nicolaitans” were the bishops and prelates of the very early Christian Church who gained conquest over the laiton [the laity]. Thus laymen were compelled to submit to the dominion of bishops who became haughty; the very thing which God hates.)
Okay, maybe he hated the sins but not the sinners. But hate is hate. When it enters the mind and heart, it often spills over the tongue, and sometimes into the hands. Many think life would be so much better if hate was eliminated. I am not one of them. Hate is an emotion as real and valid as any other. We are endowed by our human nature with the ability to love and hate for good reasons.
Just before Jesus expressed his hate for the Nicolaitans, he expressed his sympathy to those who worked tirelessly to set them straight
“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance,
and that you cannot tolerate evil men,
and you put to the test those who call themselves [church leaders],
and they are not, and you found them to be false;
and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake,
and have not grown weary.”
Do you get that!? Understand what is being said here? Those of you who are believers, who trust in your Lord, must maintain faith that justice will be done, though it never seems to come to pass. But you must keep believing no matter how frustrating and tiring it is. We want it to happen in our time, but destiny works on its own timetable. You have to believe that the Great Architect of the Universe is there and cares about you (click this link and listen if you’d like to hear how this idea is beautifully sung).
Luke (6:28≠38) quotes the Lord as demanding even more of the faithful:
“Bless them that curse you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you.
...For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye?
for sinners also love those that love them.”
Think about that. It’s very easy to love those who love you. And of course you should! But loving those who do not love you shows your goodness and good will, and clearly must affect, in some positive way, how your enemies think about you.
“...And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive,
what thank have ye?
for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.”
Hmm... one hand washes the other? Sounds like politics as usual.
“...But love ye your enemies, and do good,
and lend, hoping for nothing again;
and your reward shall be great,
and ye shall be the children of the Highest...
Be ye therefore merciful,
as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:
condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned:
forgive, and ye shall be forgiven...”
So how do you feel about Donald Sterling, now?
“Give, and it shall be given unto you...
For with the same measure that ye mete withal
it shall be measured to you again.”
I admit I am a cynic. I believe the priesthood, long, long before The Bible was ever written, 6,000 years ago, in the early days of Sumer and Egypt, concocted the “Give, and it shall be given unto you...” business to keep themselves in fine robes and grub.
It may be difficult to accept, but God (or, if you prefer to think of him as nature, the laws of subatomic field actions, string vibration, the Uncertainty Principle, destiny or whatever other label) ...God plays favorites. Favorite people, favorite time periods, favorite planets and who knows what else. If you are one of the favorites, you are lucky. If, like 99.99% of us, you are not one of the favorites, in order to achieve goodness, you still must believe in and abide by his rules. No matter how painful the challenge. No matter how tiring the challenge. Because it's the only road to goodness for the human race. The only way the human race can actually climb out of the pit of its ugly history. And for your belief, and for your accepting the difficult challenge, the promise is favor in whatever form of afterlife there may be.
It is no wonder to me that atheists think the heavenly messenger of good so terrible that they deny his very existence. Perhaps today’s brand of atheists — extremists on the Left — are in thrall to their own Nicolaitans; Bishops Gore, Obama, Soros et al.