Sunday, November 15, 2015


Mark Hodges So what does a Christ like love of enemies look like in this case? Not, what do we not do but how do we love this enemy?

Of all of the lively chatter following yesterday's post, Mark's question led me to ponder possibly an undercurrent to our discussion.  Did I make a poor point by targeting who it is we should love too soon?  By that, did I create a storm of controversy when I chose the topic of loving an extremist organization when, in reality, Christians struggle with the sheer topic of loving those who oppose and offend us?  I think I did.

I've lived with me for quite some time now.  And in that process I've lived among us.  I've lived among us in the secular segment and then in the Christian format.  When it comes to those who oppose us, there is stark difference in Sunday School/Sermon presentation as to loving any and all enemies in theory.  Yet, transforming such a belief system into our behavior seems to be quite another story.

So from Mark's question, just how are we to love any enemy?

First, who are our enemies?  To ponder possibilities might open our hearts as to who it is we are called to love.  
(Side note: If the fruit of the Holy Spirit includes love we can be assured we are being called into a zone where love is needed and we CANNOT produce it on our own.)  We are called to love God, love our families, love those who like us....and love those who don't.  Thus, this post's task.

Spouses may find the other one to be the enemy on certain days (weeks?).  Office interaction could be a great strain to some because bosses or colleagues seem to oppose.  School systems, families, and neighborhoods are currently riddled with anger.  Vengeance broods. Tempers boil.  Accusational mortars are fired continually.

It is upon this turf that we have our own mini-ISIS Crisis.  And, what are we to do with it?

The Christian world has been permitted to get by with far too much selectivity as to whom it is we will find acceptable.  Just like the world who knows not God, we too are found to love some and despise some and even hate some as if that is just the way it is and we just can't help it.

Yes....we can help it.  By the Holy Spirit power and lavish fruit, we can help it.

So maybe I brought the Isis Crisis to the forefront too soon.  Maybe we should first consider who it is among us individually who seems bent on terrorizing our families and friends; these whom we subtly and possibly unconsciously have tagged "enemy".

The world grows dark not because enemy population increases.  No, from watching Jesus walk and talk, the responsibility lies upon the shoulders of Bible-toting, Bible-quoting Christians as we develop an increasing bent upon the handy, the convenient, and the comfortable.

How do we love any enemy?  We see the good in them; as Jesus does us.  We believe they can become; as Jesus did us.  We see possibility beyond their injurious ways; as Jesus did us.  We take the blame for their behavior by paying a most uncomfortable price; as Jesus did us.  This isn't Sunday School time.  Life calls us to be saved in order to save others.  The cross isn't a necklace around a collar.  It is an execution tool slaying our personal preferences strapped across our backs.

We will do our best to move from a distant perception of the cross to a more close-up of being attached to it.  For me, I have work to do, growing to do, expanding my love-range to do. As far as discipleship goes, I'm still in kindergarten.  How about you?  

No comments: