Sunday, May 1, 2011

Loving Your Enemy - Discipleship 136

Recent world news has informed us that this last decade's most wanted man has been killed. Osama Bin Laden is dead. When I first heard the news, I wasn't sure how to feel. I read many twitter posts celebrating this great feat, and while I agree with pursuing justice, I'm not sure if celebrating another person's failure or demise is the best response. Having said that, I am not belittling those who were greatly affected by the events of 9-11. I personally didn't lose much on that day. What I did gain was a heightened awareness of the struggle in our world. A struggle that is not against flesh and blood, but against evil.

Jesus taught a very tough truth about love and enemies. This conversation is recorded in chapter six of the gospel of Luke:

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Like it or not, Bin Laden was created in the image of God for the purpose of relationship. He, like you and me, is worthy of love. I do not condone his actions for one minute, so please do not reach that conclusion from reading this post. What I am suggesting is that mercy and justice play a role in the God's Kingdom. I can choose what my response to this, and any other situation will be. My hope and prayer is that in any and all response I will represent love, demonstrate humility, embrace justice and walk in mercy.

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A Little Something from Psalm 8

 Had a lot of fun with this one.