If you don’t get your way, does your frustration turn into hate?
There has been much coverage in the press recently about the rhetoric of hate. Sometimes those involved are called hate preachers: they regard people who oppose their viewpoints as enemies, and speak out against them.
Jesus Christ had a radical idea about what to do with our enemies. He had grown up in a culture where it was accepted and acceptable to treat enemies with vengeance and hostility. It was OK to attack and destroy them, and to feel triumphant afterwards.
Jesus disagreed with his country’s history of hate. This is what he taught his followers: You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy”. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV).
This is the opposite of the vitriolic preaching that we hear too often from disgruntled activists and religious fundamentalists. Are Jesus’ words out of date and irrelevant? Can they guide us to fresh approaches to conflict?
Jesus’ message remains the same today, yesterday and forever. Let’s put it into practice in all our relationships.
How should we deal with our enemies?
Begin with loving them.
Kind regards, Our September Because magazine is now available at because.uk.com
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