Each time I read this verse, I question myself, “Who is my enemy?” Is it the person who cut us off in traffic? The disagreeable or rude person in the store? Or is my enemy the radical leftists who are trying to change the country that I love from the inside out? My conclusion is that all of these may be an enemy at some time or another, depending on my own frame of mind. You see, we choose how we see others. If we see them as an enemy, then we may treat them differently than we treat our friends or family members.
How many of us walk into a room filled with people and seek out those that we don’t know well or whom we never really wanted to get to know well? No, if you are like me, when you are in a social situation, you seek those who are like-minded, those with whom you feel the most comfortable. But was that the pattern that Jesus established for us? Of course not! He was chastened for eating with sinners and for his choices of companions everywhere he went. The Pharisees would never have thought of going to a tax collector’s home to eat and fellowship. Nevertheless, that is what we are called to do. Jesus said clearly that the well don’t need a physician, so He chose to hang out with those who needed Him the most.
As a disciple of Christ, I would like to say that I also choose to hang out with those who need Him the most. But that would be untruthful. Like most of you, I tend to gravitate towards those with whom I feel most comfortable. The God of the Universe tells us to love our enemies and the best way that we can love them is to show them the love of Jesus and to invite them to get to know His saving grace, too. Of course, we must be wise in approaching others, especially in these times when Christians are seen as rabble rousers and instigators of rebellion. Is today any different than in the days of the early church? I don’t think so.
I am choosing to love my enemies, to seek out those who need a touch from the Master and to allow Jesus to lead me to them. The rude woman in the store may not have enough money to buy the food that she needs for her children. The man cutting you off in traffic may be rushing home because of an emergency there. We just don’t know. People are not our enemies. Our only enemy is the enemy of our soul who would destroy us if he could. Thus, we must treat others the way we wish to be treated. We must reach out a helping hand, extend grace and mercy and say kind words ourselves. We must be the example that we want others to follow. After all, that is what Jesus did. He didn’t just preach loving your enemies; He lived it, even when He was on the cross and asked for His Father’s forgiveness on the crowd there to crucify Him.
Final note: I have been absent from the blog lately because we were traveling and visiting children and grandchildren. What a special family time we had! We got to meet our new grandson Nathan, a month old, and attend the graduation party of our grandson Tyler. Those special times were ones that we were blessed to be able to attend, especially since we were in a car accident the week before we were supposed to leave. Our car is still being repaired and we are using a rental. The other insurance company extended grace to us after I told them that we had made plans for this trip back in March and told us to feel free to travel to wherever we needed to go, to just let the repair shop know that we would be out of town. The accident was bad, but God is good and my heart is filled with God’s graciousness and mercy toward us in allowing us to visit family after almost a year of not seeing them.
May each of you be blessed with a special touch from the Lord today and may you know deep in your heart that it is the Savior who has touched you. For it is for such a time as this that we were born. It is no accident that we are here during these turbulent times. We just have to ask God to help us to reach out to others just as He would do. After all, we are His hands and His feet, His eyes and His mouth here on earth. May you each be blessed with the knowledge of how much God loves you!