Friday, September 28, 2007

Loving Your Enemies

This one’s been kinda bouncing around my head some lately. It all stared when a friend of mine mentioned that he can love someone he doesn’t like. I started wondering about that. How can I love someone I don’t like? If someone irritates me, annoys me, bothers me, or even hates me, how can I love him?

First off, I’m not talking romantic love. That’s obvious. I irritate, pester, and annoy my wife on a regular basis, and yet she still claims to love me. Go figgure.

No, I’m talking about the charitable love I’m supposed to have for my fellow man. You know, that troublesome “second greatest commandment”? “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matt. 22: 39

How do you do that?

Matthew shares some more advice from the Savior: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” Matt. 5: 43-44

All of the Lord’s examples are things that you do for your enemies. Bless them, do good for them, pray for them. I read once a long time ago that to really love someone with a charitable love, then you have to truly want what’s best for them, regardless of how that impacts you, directly.

So, even if someone annoys me or even does me direct harm, I can still want what’s best for them. I can still work toward them getting that thing that’s best for them. Who knows, it might actually make it so they don’t annoy/hate/harm me anymore!

Mark Hansen

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