Love for Enemies. Matt. 5:43-47

Written by admin on June 25th, 2007

The concept of “turning the other cheek” must have been the most talked about theological topic on the playgrounds of my childhood. It was during World War II and this teaching of Jesus was not held with high regard in popular culture. It appears to continue to be one of the least appreciated teaching by Jesus.

It is obvious that he was trying to defuse conflict. But nine year old lay theologians, even, saw this as opening the door to abuse and domination of the bullies of the world.

As we grow older we continue to see this as risky. But, on many occasions when we have put this principle into practice, we have seen it work. While one must not come to see this as a wise practice for its own benefit, it indeed is. This is becuase is it so much nicer to walk through life seeing those around us as friends, not as enemies. Certainly, I have known some very bitter persons who see everyone as an enemy, or potentially one, out to get them and take advantage of them. It strikes me that this is a very unhappy way to live. I feel sorry for such folk. I have even taken them on as a project and loved them and demonstrated to them that there is at least one person in the world who is not out to get them. I think that in a few cases, I have at least gotten them to question their common opinion of human kind.

Reflecting, however, it seems that for many of us as we grow older we become less optimistic and more critical of others. We come into relationships expecting the worse, not the best. And, it seems that this results in us not being disappointed.

 

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