You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you love enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.-Matthew 5:43-48
In these five short verses Jesus turns everything that we have ever been told about love and hate upside down. He starts off by telling us that the world says that we should love those with whom we are friendly and hate those whom we consider to be our enemies. But then Jesus gives us a shocking revelation when he says these famous words, “But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Why should we love our enemies and pray for those who are persecuting us? Jesus gives us a very simple reason, because God loves them. If God loves those who wrong us and are actively trying to harm us, then shouldn’t we as followers of God not show the same kind of love that God shows? The answer is YES. But then why don’t we? Could it be because deep in our hearts we really want to get even with those whom have wronged us or whom have harmed us in anyway shape or form? Could it be that we find it easier to hate then to love? The answer to all of these questions is yes. And that is the problem in our world today. We as followers of Christ have taken the easy road instead the hard road. We have allowed the world’s view on love and hatred to seep into our beliefs and it has been detrimental to our mission. The reason you see more and more people turning away from God and way from the Church is very simple. They don’t see those who calm to be follower’s of Christ as being any different from themselves and so they want nothing do with what we as followers of Christ are offering. If you want to see a change in the world, then it’s time to stop thinking and acting like the world and start thinking and acting like people who have been radical changed by God. Start loving you enemies and praying for those who are persecuting you and you will begin to see the world change for the better.