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Love your enemies?

At a time when people are increasingly realizing the need for less friction and conflict among those with opposing views, the gospel message of loving our enemies seems more relevant than ever. Today we share a poem that helps show us how.

It puzzled me for the longest time:
Jesus’ saying to all
(Including us)
Love your enemies.”

Love the Lord thy God.”
Well, sure.
Love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Fine.
But “Love your enemies?

My balky heart said no.
“Not till they change,” it said.
“Not till they do something
To become lovable.
How can I? Why should I?”

Then one day I looked it up,
And saw what follows:
“Love your enemies ...;
That ye may be the children
Of your Father
Which is in heaven.”

Oh.
That changes everything.

For your own sake –
For the sake of all mankind –
See only what God sees;
Refuse to be hoodwinked
Into beholding an enemy.
Let nothing and nobody
Trick you into letting go of love,
No matter what.

Love your enemies?
If we could,
It would ...
When we do,
It will ...
Change everything.

Originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel, Jan. 16, 1989.

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