“You’re familiar with the old written late, “Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate our enemy.” I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.” Matthew 5:43,44
Sunday, I heard a sermon about loving your friend and hating your enemy. The pastor used Jonah as an example of a servant of God who hated the sinful people of Nineveh and chose to run away rather than minister to them. After spending three days of “thinking” time in the belly of a big fish, he gave in and went to Nineveh to do the job God assigned to him. However, it didn’t sit well that God forgave the sinful people, and Jonah pouted and complained to God–even asked for God to take his life. He could not love his enemy.
Years ago my three co-workers in a law firm harshly judged and shunned me for having been appointed the manager of the office. Each of them had been led to believe they would be chosen. I became the enemy, and it took weeks for each of them to work through their frustration and accept me as the manager. I felt hated for being the “chosen one.” In reality, the position turned out to be a challenge with more responsibility and no extra money. In reality, they became satisfied with their role in the office.
Lord, help love everyone, including the unloveable, and leave the judging to God. Amen.