13 February 2008 ~ 6 Comments

Love Your Enemies

Lots of talk about love with Valentines Day.  A day we celebrate the people who love us back.  But what about the other people Jesus told us to love…our enemies?  That’s a whole lot harder to do.  I used to think of my enemy as the punk at school who picked on me, or the loved one who hurt me deeply.  But after 9/11 that concept took on a whole new meaning.  Could I really love someone who literally murdered people that I knew and loved in cold blood?  Ouch.  (Not that I actually knew anyone from that day, but you get my point.)  What about a person who were to harm my wife or child?

These posters from The Plow are pretty profiund and really force you to think about that in an "in your face" sort of way.  Check em out:

Loveyourenemy3

Loveyourenemy2

Loveyourenemy1

So what do you think?  how do you really love you enemies?  I know Christ commands it, but let’s be rea.  When you see those images, how many of you are unable to muster up the love you know you’re supposed to?  How do we tangibly love our enemies?  And how do we get past the "churchy" answer of loving them even when we don’t like what they do, because Jesus loved them?  Easy to say when it’s so hypothetical, but what do you think you would ACTUALLY do if Mr. Bin Laden were sitting right in front of you?

Sorry.  Lots of questions there.  Any thought?

HT: Chris from Canada

6 Responses to “Love Your Enemies”

  1. Stefan Byron 20 February 2011 at 3:12 pm Permalink

    If ‘GOD’ is all there is…………….who are the enemies??

    Before we learn how to understand the statement ‘Love your enemies’ we may wish to look at the conflict that is occurring within us. How can we begin to learn how to Love our enemies….if we have yet to learn how to bring about harmony within ourselves?

    ALL there is……is LOVE…but remember LOVE destroys…in order to release Itself….

  2. Arthur Kanegis 1 August 2008 at 8:02 am Permalink

    The Talmud teaches: “Who is mighty? He who turns an enemy into his friend” (ARN xxIII)
    When Jesus taught “love your enemies” he was not preaching submission. He was giving us the most powerful weapon. Violence is weak and ineffective. Take a look at the new website I created, http://www.bullyproof.org which uses puppetry, drama and song to teach kids how to win without intimidation.
    • Watch the video of kids with sticky fingers and glue making giant puppets for a play that teaches them how to BullyProof themselves and resolve conflicts peacefully.
    • See the dramatic teen video of gang kids performing a life-changing rap ‘n roll opera that models a new way of interacting with the world.
    • Listen to the songs which teach kids and teens more powerful tools than violence that they can use to stand up for themselves, their friends and their beliefs.
    • Read our rhyming and rapping “Legend of the Bullyproof Shields,” an engaging story that could well change and empower your life. It won the Columbine Award at Moondance Film Festival!
    • Listen to and read the Quest for the Bullyproof Shields, a child’s adventure into the land of the imagination, where enchanted characters teach peacemaking skills.
    • Enter the contest to win-win up to $1000 in prizes, a drop in the bucket compared to the value of the life skills to be gained.
    • Play a game of discovering the secrets hidden behind the BULLYPROOF shields – and you may find thought-provoking ideas to super-charge your own life.
    • Share your comments, videos and thoughts, and let others know about this valuable resource.
    “Whenever I got mad, all my years of conflict-resolution training used to go right out the window. Now I use BULLYPROOF to anchor my training. I think, ‘B; – How can I Bust out of this conflict and come at it another way? ‘U’ Understand — what is triggering my hot buttons? And theirs? ‘L’ Am I Listening? Etc. By the time I get to “F” my Fear and anger are gone and I’m able to handle the situation rationally.”
    — Diane LaResche who taught conflict resolution at George Mason University.
    Warmly,
    Arthur Kanegis
    President
    Future WAVE (Working for Alternatives to Violence through Entertainment)
    info@bullyproof.org
    “Who is the mightiest of heroes? He who makes an enemy into his friend” – Talmud

  3. Steph 21 February 2008 at 12:09 pm Permalink

    and, looking back again at your questions reminds me of a conference I was at last December where we were gathered in worship during the time that Saddam Hussein was being executed. The leader announced what was going on, and in a stadium with about 10,000 people, a few started to cheer over his execution. Dwayne, who was leading, quickly stopped everything and said that no, our purpose for bringing this up was to pray for him. So for about an hour we interceded for his soul, for the church in the region, and for God’s will to be done in forgiveness and mercy in the hearts of those hurt by Saddam’s leadership. I thought that was wonderful . . . a reminder of “loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.”

  4. Steph 21 February 2008 at 12:03 pm Permalink

    I LOVE those posters. I think that’s a lot of the way Jesus loved to teach, by taking someone (or a group of someones) that were utterly hated and calling out what was good in them, or pointing out God’s love for them. Right on.

  5. evan 14 February 2008 at 11:36 am Permalink

    great stuff.
    im burning your feed.

  6. Bet 14 February 2008 at 10:38 am Permalink

    This is a great post, Bobby. Great timing.
    This week, Erik and I are teaching Sunday school for the kids at church. Our church is small, so it is K thru 5th grades. It is a challenge to come up with lessons that apply to the whole age range.
    The series they are on right now is missions. All of the adults who have been on missions trips are coming in and talking about the people they went to minister to. We were asked to do a week. It is this Sunday.
    As Erik and I thought about it, we thought about what would we most want a 2nd grader to know about the Muslims in their class. Reality is that there could be Muslim kids right next to them each day. We want them to learn to love them. At first, we thought the theme could be “love your enemies.” But really, that is a better theme for the church service than for Sunday school. Kids don’t really know that Muslims are “enemies”. They pick that idea up from the world – mostly from adults. We want to teach them to ” love your neighbor” instead. We want them to know that Muslims are their neighbors. So we are going to make Valentines Day cards for Muslim kids and talk about how they are kids just like us. They just have a different belief in who Jesus is.
    It strikes me that kids don’t really know what an enemy is. They really have to learn about that. I hope that they get just as many adults teaching them that Muslims are not their enemies as adults who make them afraid of them. Somehow I feel that the scale is tipped far too much to one side.
    Adults – Love your enemies. Kids – Love your neighbors. If only…


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