Knowing the "why" and "how" of truly loving your enemies
We live in a time of great contradiction. There are voices that shout, rant and insist for all in our society to embrace and accept everyone no matter what their choices in life are and no matter what their actions in life may be. Their message in many ways is framed as one of love – love for those who are opposite, love for those who are different. Then there are those like myself who say that while I am willing to accept and love people regardless of their choices, I will not embrace anything I believe is not moral or righteous. I will love the person but not the action. For this I have been called a "hater" by those who preach that you should embrace those who are different than you. Jesus told us to love our enemies, but what exactly does that mean? Am I not loving enough? Do I need to change?
Love your enemies. It is a principle for living that is looked up to and striven for by some and laughed and scorned by others. No matter how you look at it, loving ones enemies is a difficult and rare occurrence because it involves some level of acceptance we are not inclined to want to give.
There is a lot of talk around about accepting and embracing those who are different than you – those who in some ways would represent an enemy or opposition. Not only is there talk, but there is a movement as well – a movement that demands an unequivocal acceptance and embracing of people and their alternative behaviors. At first glance this movement appears to be founded in love and respect for all, and that would certainly be a good thing. The problem arises when those of us, who for the sake of moral belief and conviction, are willing to accept peopl, but not embrace behavior that we deem inappropriate or immoral. It is here where, based on personal experience, we suddenly become enemies who are to be shut down and ridiculed. ...Hardly an example of the very acceptance that this movement claims to preach!
Jesus lived and taught the concept of loving our enemies. He not only told us to love our enemies, he told us to pray for them and even to bless them. Wait a minute. Bless them? How do you bless someone who you think is wrong? How do you bless someone who does evil? How do you bless someone who wants to hurt you? Isn’t this going a little too far?
Our May 8th, 2016 broadcast entitled “Why Should We Love Our Enemies?” focused on these very questions. We not only examined what Jesus was saying about loving our enemies, but we took significant time learning the why and how of what he said. And no surprise, it turns out that in Jesus’ words and actions there are several profound lessons for every day application waiting to be put into practice. Jesus didn’t make loving our enemies an easy task but he did make it a desirable and attainable one.
One lesson that is an important building block for learning to love our enemies is that of blame. Sometimes we think that in order to love our enemies we need to not blame them for wrongs they have committed but this is not right. Blame is not only appropriate it is a necessary step in love. That being said, we need to understand how to blame in a godly way. On top of this we need to learn the other necessary steps that help us to complete the process of loving our enemies. Check out the broadcast and see how loving our enemies can not only work but can enhance our everyday lives!
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