Can you love your enemies?
Can you love the guy who shot up a theater full of innocent people? Can you love the Al-Qaeda terrorist who blows up a bus full of tourists? Can you love the coach or the priest who molests children? Can you love the angry people on the other side of the Chick-fil-A protest? Can you love the ones who disrupt a military funeral with anti-war chants? Can you love the drunk driver who tears apart a family with vehicular homicide? Can you love the “friend” who disagrees with you on Facebook? Can you love the woman who stole your husband? Can you love the man who broke your heart?
Jesus commanded us to “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.” Many people think of this command as the pinnacle of pacifist doctrine, like the best anti-war slogan you can find. But it’s not that at all. This is the most dangerous commandment ever given by Jesus. Loving your enemies means getting close to the people who WANT to hurt you. Loving your enemies is dangerous.
It’s going to cost you something. There will be pain. There will be tears. There may be death.
Jesus knew exactly what he was asking you to do… because he did it himself first. While we were still sinners- enemies of God- in open rebellion against him- Christ died for us. It cost him something too.
There was pain. There were tears. There was death.
And then there was Victory. Brilliant, Glorious Victory!
The kind of Victory that emptied the bowels of Death came through the One who lead by example. He loved his enemies and died at their hands. Even to the end, he asked his Father to forgive them for their ignorance.
It’s going to cost you. Love your enemies and die to yourself. Die to your right to Revenge. Die to your human concept of Justice. Die to your precious Freedom, your Independence. Die to your possessions. Die to your identity. Die to your job. Die to your family. Die to all through Radical, Dangerous Love.