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“The news the past few weeks has been disturbing for someone who believes that we are to love our enemies. How do I think about bin Laden and love for enemies at the same time?" — Christopher
When Jesus instructed His followers to love their enemies (Mt. 5:44-48), He established an ideal that is scarcely possible. It is not our natural inclination nor is it typically within our ability to love unconditionally those who are bent on our destruction.
The ideal still stands, however. Consider this: He was not telling His hearers to disregard harm done or to overlook potential danger from one’s enemies.
He was, rather, extending to them a high calling: earnestly desire the redemption of your enemies.
This love is truly a divine kind of love. It is not proud or rude, is not easily angered and does not hold a grudge. It never fails to hope for a good outcome (I Cor. 13).
This love arises from the heart of God and flows through those who faithfully follow Him.
The ideal of love for enemy restrains hatred and bitter vengefulness, prays for saving grace to be at work and grieves over the tragic results of sin (Rom. 6:23; Gal. 6:7; James 1:15).
Love for enemies does not dehumanize them or rejoice in their death. In his prayer as the new king of Israel, Solomon did not request the death of his enemies. God heard and honored that prayer (I Kings 3:5-15).
We would never minimize the sacrifice and dedication of military men and women or diminish the astonishing accomplishment of those who found and finished bin Laden.
We are not in a position to judge the fatal action taken by those who were there.
Put simply, love requires that we desire what is best for our enemies as well as all people: reconciliation with God, resolution of conflict, peace of heart and healing of mind and spirit.
Communicate with Pastor Chuck McCullough or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.