Enemy Mine

Matthew 5:38-48 – The Seventh Sunday after Epiphany – for Sunday, February 19, 2017

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you . . .” (Matthew 5:44)

Sometimes I think I have only one enemy.

I know his name.

I know his habits.

I know his weaknesses.

And I also know his strengths, and the ways that he can undermine me, hurt me, and often leave me battered and then walk away as if nothing happened. The “battered” is more metaphorical, based on the way he works, but if I don’t show any bruises after an encounter with him, it doesn’t mean his words or actions didn’t hurt me.

I am, of course, my own worst enemy. I pondered that while reading Jesus’ words in Matthew’s fifth chapter: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you . . .”

What I pray is often not what I say.

What I say is often not what I do.

How often do I act with more hypocrisy than holiness? Am I not my own worst enemy by my two-faced omissions and false admissions? And yet I don’t suppose Jesus was referring to our private stares in the figurative mirrors of our lives as the reminder of who our enemies are.

I get the historic context of Jesus’ call to the love the enemy. Continue reading →

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