“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you,’ Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'” – Matthew 5:43-44
The message in this devotion, to me, is profound. It bears repeating over and over again.
The word enemy has been defined as anyone who is not for us. In light of that definition, we can all think of folks we work with, cross paths with, and sometimes even live with, who are not for us. Yet, Jesus Christ said, “Love your enemies.” To love our friends is not unique, but to love our enemies is.
At the end of the Civil War, many Northerners were demanding that the South be punished for the devastation the war had caused the United States. Feeling he was too soft on the South, a group visited President Lincoln at the White House. One man became so intense that he pounded on Mr. Lincoln’s desk and said, “Mr. President, I believe in destroying my enemies.”
President Lincoln reflected a moment, then slowly stood and said, “Do we not destroy our enemies when we make them our friends?”
Wow. Isn’t that profound? That is the spirit of Christianity that can literally change the world, one person at a time. The key question is – do you believe and practice that spirit?