Loving one’s enemies is a radical idea advocated by Jesus. There’s a sense to it though. You can’t very well make things better by hating them. If they intend to do you harm, there is nothing to be gained by fighting fire with fire.
Ghandi also said, “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind.”
So let’s lower the stakes a little here. What are we to do with idiots, jerks, fools, annoying people, the guy who cut you off in traffic, the lady who jumped in front of you in line, a vindictive co-worker, the landlord who ignores your maintenance requests, and so on? Since they’re not trying to kill us or ruin us, these people are freed up to receive mild hatred or plain old disdain. No harm done right?
I was snow shoeing this morning just stewing and stewing about someone who has done more than irk me lately. He wasn’t at enemy status, so I just had a little pity party for myself and vented angry thoughts in his direction. And–dang it–I felt very convicted. Hardly what should be coming from a follower of Jesus.
God wants his followers to be characterized by their love. I had to stop, turn from my sinful anger, and ask for his refreshing and renewal; the very thing promised by Peter in Acts 3.
3:19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out,
3:20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you â€“ that is, Jesus.