“44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:44-45 (ESV)
“Love your enemies…”
What does that feel like to love those you despise?
I mentioned before how Jesus’ teachings require from us a re-wiring of our brains and our hearts. This may be the most difficult to understand and practice.
Imagine the time of Jesus when bloodshed was carried out in plain site and regularly. In today’s world we censor the level of violence broadcast by the news. Even in entertainment media, the violence we consume is tailored just enough to make the point. We’re sheltered for the most part from the real violence that consumes the world around us. It is left to our imaginations, if we choose to focus on it, to recreate what is reported, like starvation, war, rape, murder etc. But can you imagine what it would be like if it was surrounding you daily? That is what it was like for Jesus at his time with us on earth. Yet he called for us to “love our enemies”.
Surely the people of his age felt hopeless to stop the violence, but hopelessness, and maybe even acceptance, didn’t mean they stopped feeling the pain and rage caused by violence. These are powerful emotions for anyone, that linger indefinitely. Given the power of those emotions, how can one simply negate them to then foster and give it’s opposite, which is love. No easy task in any era.
A minuscule fraction of our fellow humans enjoy inflicting or witnessing harm on others, so this doesn’t apply to them. For the rest of us, how can we make sense of this foundational order from Jesus? It begins by understanding first that it’s God’s will and then to understand its benefit to anyone who practices this tenet.
To be in a state of love from the source our God is the goal of the ages. It was Jesus’ mission to enable this state of being in all humans. The enemy cannot function in this realm. His is the opposite, as we all know. Gods purest energy spreads across the entire universe. At the simplest level of existence, we must work to be in and a part of this energy that is called Universal (meaning everywhere) Love.
When Jesus gave us this tenet, he meant for us to give forth to all beings Gods Universal Love energy. It is meant to override earthly emotions caused by the negative effects of the enemies efforts. Love’s energy comes from God. Human emotions come from our individual brains.
When Jesus said to “love your enemy”, what he was really saying was; if you are in a state of Gods love (the real kind), don’t filter who can receive it by withholding it at will. Give this love freely to all beings on this earth, without measure and without a moment of hesitation. THAT is what it means to be a follower of Christ. Gods love is for ALL OF US. When you decide who can and who cannot receive Gods love, you are negating God and Christ.
This energy is designed to heal all wounds, no matter how great. Gods love is the finest and purest energy in the Universe. It can accomplish anything if harnessed properly. It can repair the damage to our bodies against illness. It can also repair the pain in our hearts. Likewise, this energy is not just for healing, but also creation.
Think of Gods energy in the simplest of ways. Take in as much as you can and allow it to flow through you as much as you can. Think of yourself as a waterfall. Love cascades over you from some distant source, pours down with force cleaning all in it’s path, and pools at the bottom to then be available to others by flowing away from you. Do not collect it only for a few. It was given to you freely and without measure. You must then pass it on the same way, to anyone, to everyone, even the enemy. Anyone can choose not to drink from this pool, but you make it available regardless.
Jesus was the living embodiment of this love. He never stopped the flow of Gods love energy through him. Like the waters of Niagara Falls, his was the most powerful the world has ever known.