Love Your Enemies

charlottesville protests

If you believe in a God who is going to execute judgment with perfect justice, then you can leave it in his hands and do what Jesus told you to do: love your enemies.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
“But I tell you: Love your enemies…”


I have to be honest.
When I read this my mind automatically raises objections, formulates exceptions to what Jesus is clearly saying here.
Do this except when..
Love them unless they..
Maybe it is because every truth is relative to our experience and there is a limit to what we are willing to suffer.

I have a photo taken many years ago of Martin Luther King Jr. and his band of brothers as they marched to the courthouse in Montgomery Alabama.
I see in their faces what no amount of words could accurately express.
The pain  on the bridge at Selma on bloody Sunday, the snarls of dogs and the blows inflicted on those who marched. I see the days spent in jail, the burned out buses of the freedom riders.
A few years later Dr. King would be dead. Shot down in Memphis.



We could  look at where we are now, so much hate, so much violence and ask,
What did they really accomplish?

What did Dr. King and others who were willing to suffer and die if necessary gain?

In nine years more was accomplished to right a terrible wrong than all of the government programs and violence we have seen since that time attempt to do. The Civil Rights Movement which began with Rosa Parks in 1955 culminated with the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 was accomplished through non-violent, peaceful protest. Blessing came for so many because of a few who were willing to suffer insults, persecution, and be falsely accused because of their willingness to stand for what was right. Without responding with violence. Choosing instead love that stood against hate, love that birthed hope for better days regardless of skin color.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr. 

In this first quarter of the 21st century we face the same enemies once again. Hatred, violence, persecution, division. We have a choice in how we respond.  We can respond in kind with boycotts, demonstrations, public protests, get-out-the-vote campaigns, and angry rhetoric. That strategy so far has not kept our culture’s spiritual decline from steadily accelerating. More important, such tactics which have done little to advance the gospel.* Or,

We can choose to answer insults with respect, kindness, grace.

We can choose to answer persecution by blessing those who persecute us (Luke 6:27-28) showing them by our actions the truth of the Gospel

We can choose to endure and stand when culture and popular opinion opposes the truth.

We can choose as much as it depends on us to be at peace with everyone.

We can choose to love our enemies.

In the end all injustice and persecution suffered throughout the ages will be set right by God who is the judge of all things. And, “If you believe in a God who is going to execute judgment with perfect justice, then you can leave it in his hands and do what Jesus told you to do: love your enemies.”


*Quote by John MacArthur


“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN TEENS BLOGS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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