Love Your Enemies as Yourself

From Issue: Discovery 7/1/2010

When you are at school or at the park and you see a person with whom you don’t get along, what do you do? You stay away from them, don’t you? Well, what if they come up to you and push you
for no reason? Would you fight back? Or, do you simply
walk away and endure the teasing?

In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Jesus said that if someone slaps you on your right cheek, then turn to him the other cheek. That means that if you get hit, you should not just hit the person back. Instead, you should try to walk away. Then, it may or may not (depending on the circumstances) be appropriate to tell someone like a teacher or your parents. If you do not retaliate you will be a stronger person. It takes a strong person to love his enemies, rather than to fight back. Christians are not commanded to “fight fire with fire” (treating your enemies like they treat you). Instead, Jesus taught, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12).

If someone is mean to you, then you need to be nice to them instead of being mean. Romans 12:20-21 says: “If your enemy is hungry feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” The best way to rid yourself of an enemy—is to make him your friend.


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