Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Jesus asks us to do something extraordinary that goes absolutely against the grain: “Love your enemies”, Jesus says. By asking us to love our enemies Jesus gives our opponent a human face.

Who is your enemy? Have you identified one lately?

In times of war it seems very easy to pinpoint the opposite side. War crimes are being committed. People die. The brutality of killing people during war has coined the term “post-traumatic stress disorder”. It became a buzzword in the 1970s due to the diagnoses of U.S. military veterans of the Vietnam War. Even in war times when we have the license to kill to defend our country, killing people is still deeply disturbing to the human psyche, which essentially explains PTSD.

It is easy to see that we thrive in times of peace. If a profession was assigned to the human race, what should it be? Certainly not professional killer I would think – if anything, we are supposed to be professional caretakers, not killers. In the first chapter of the Bible God asks us to look after His creation (Genesis 1:28):

God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”

We are here to procreate, spread out, discover the universe and build something new. Murder not only ends the lives of the people we have killed, but also kills our spirit and makes us inhuman.

Nobody knows the complete picture of this person we call our enemy. It is detrimental to our health to wish destruction on anybody, even without taking any concrete action. Essentially, ill will turns around and becomes our very own nightmare.

God gives sunlight to both good and evil. It is life giving and inspiring to be generous and forgiving. We are made to bless, not to curse. As we embrace today, let us love in all forms, shapes and sizes.

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