Love your enemies, it will drive them crazy. I don’t know who is my biggest enemy, the Dodgers or the Seahawks. It’s a toss up. I hate the Dodgers because, you know, L.A. I hate the Seahawks because they’re the Seahawks. Make sense? Of course it does. I know some people say that they hate that Jesus spoke about loving your enemies as much as you love yourself. I’m not sure why, though. I guess to love one’s enemies means there exists a certain equality between them and me. Maybe that’s too hard for some people. Even today, I think that some people skip over that passage in Matthew and go back to the warm confines of Leviticus, you know, the real Bible. Things were more black and white (no pun intended) back in the olden olden days. It was easier to judge and separate them from us.
But what if we actually did forgive our enemies? What if we didn’t hurl epithets at one another. Maybe there would be a revolution of, dare I say it, love.
“…dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” (Ghostbusters)
Maybe there would be a hysteria of kindness. Or a hysteria of calm. Or a hysteria of peace. Or a hysteria of understanding. Sounds pretty risky. I wonder what the payoff would be? Love can be really hard sometimes.
‘You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;
For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?
And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? (Matt 5:43-44,46-47)
It’s pretty clear to me, even though this passage, like the rest of Scripture, has gone through a number of translations from one language to another, is straight forward and to the point. People shouldn’t be objects of hate even if they do the most heinous of acts. The things that they do would be the objects of hate. Equating the act with the person leaves no room for change…us vs them never really turns out the way we want it. Unless you’re a Giant or 49er fan…but that’s another story. Heck! I’m not perfect, I’m working on it.
…and so it goes…