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12/10/14: Love Your Enemies When It Does Not Seem the Right Thing To Do

Published: Wednesday, 10 December 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Luke 6:35

Of all the Bible passages, this is one that we would all agree should be removed from the Holy Scriptures. Or, maybe not! When God put it in is Word, He must have had a good reason to make such outlandish claims. As a sense of balance of judgment, this passage sends the needle way past the rule that says to be nice to your enemies. This is one command that Jesus makes it clear that as a Believer your behavior is to be dramatically different from those in the world.

Enemies occur in our neighborhoods with fence lines, HOAs, and yard maintenance.  Enemies occur in our stores when someone breaks in line or you cannot find anyone to help you.   Enemies pop up when it’s time to settle a bill that’s higher than quoted or additional work was done that you did not authorize.  Enemies confront us when we work with good ethics and they don’t (e.g., inflated travel expenses).   There are so many opportunities that illustrate the values of the kingdom of this world versus the kingdom of God.

In the above passage, Jesus is asking His Believers to live the values of the Kingdom of God.  First of all, you should love your enemies.  The Greek word for love in this passage is not the one I had hoped it would be.  This word love means the God-like love between God and man.  In other words, self-sacrificing love.  This really hits home with the significant difference of how we are to love others.  We are to love them as God loves them.  This seems almost impossible from a worldly perspective.  But our God says to love (agape) our enemies.  He gives an illustration of lending to your enemies and not to expect to get it back.  Wow!  That’s hard to do.   But, that is God’s expectation for His followers.  We are to be different.

He does share that your reward will be great, and you will be God’s children.  That sounds pretty good to me.  He goes on to say that God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  That is not my reaction to those kinds of people.  I want to retaliate, but God has a different set of values for His Kingdom.  We need to learn what they are and live by them.  The world will be a different place to live our lives.

Note: The book, “God and Men: No-Holds-Barred” was highlighted in an interview session for the Christian Television Network.  The interview can be seen on Youtube.  Go to www.ctnonline.com and click on HomeKeepers.  The program # is HK967.  You may find it interesting.

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