Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

“Love your enemies” gives our opponents a human face. The enemy turns from an animal into another human being, someone like me, a person I could relate to.  

Who is your enemy? Have you identified one lately?

In times of war it seems easy to pinpoint the enemy. War crimes are 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 in large part due to the diagnoses of U.S. military veterans of the Vietnam War. Essentially, even in war times when we have the license to kill to defend our country, at the end of the day we’re still killing people. Our human makeup is not as tough as it seems. Killing people catches up with us eventually. It’s deeply disturbing to the human psyche, which explains why people get sick over it.

It’s easy to see that we’re thriving in times of peace. If a profession was assigned to the human race, would it be professional killer? Hopefully not. If anything, we’re professional lovers not killers. After all, God is love, so His children naturally reflect love in their ways of dealing with other people. We’re here to procreate, spread out, discover the universe and build something new. To kill not only brings death to the people we killed, it also kills our spirit, it messes with our psyche and kills us physically further down the line. What goes around comes around.

In the end, it is much more inspiring to be generous. God gives sunlight to both evil and good. Whoever is our enemy, he or she is a person. We don’t know the entire picture of our enemy. Instead of hating this person, we need to give it a rest. It’s detrimental to our own health to even just wish destruction on anybody. Essentially, ill wishes will hunt us down and come true in our own life. We’re made to bless not to curse.

So, instead of making matters worse, let’s focus all our energies to solve problems, building bridges where we find an opportunity, and reconciling whenever we can.

As we embrace today, let us love in all forms, shapes and sizes!

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