Saturday, April 24, 2010

Loving our Enemies

Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, "Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. - 2 Samuel 2: 19

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6: 27-28

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18: 1-23


So you know the whole thing that Jesus says about loving your enemies and turning the other cheek. Sounds ridiculous right? Well it sure did to Joab, the commander of Israel’s army under David.

I remember as a kid always hearing that David was the man who had the heart of God. I never really knew what that meant. How can a person achieve that? What is God’s heart like?

Well… this is what the old folks must have been talking about.

David loved his enemies.

First we saw it with Saul. Saul repeatedly tried to kill David. But what did David do? He continued to honor Saul and show love to him to the point that he spared his life on multiple occasions.

Now we are seeing it with Absalom. Sure he is David’s son, but he is no less an enemy than Saul was. Absalom hustled his way to the throne, ousted David and sent his troops on a manhunt to snuff him about.

And what did David do? He instructed his troops not to lay a finger on him. After all of the turmoil that Absalom caused David was not going to lay a finger on him.

This is love beyond my understanding. I don’t get how folks could conduct their lives in such a way. But I also realize it is not outside of our reach. We see it every time we study the life of Gandhi and MLK Jr. We see it when we observe non-violent protesters standing firm in the line of fire. We see it every day in America with our friends and neighbors who work to coexist with people who hate them for who they are and what they represent.

In this instruction lies the key to our future. Imagine what the world would be like if we could love our enemies!

What a wonderful place it would be.

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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