I’ve always been confused by what Jesus commanded about loving my enemies.
You see, I’m pretty good about loving those who love me. That feels right. It feels fair. And it’s easy. Surely Jesus wasn’t serious about loving the people who didn’t love us. He didn’t know these jerks I have to put up with. He didn’t know the drivers I want to yell at in traffic. He didn’t know the idiots I have to put up with at work. And he certainly didn’t know these jerks on Facebook who disagree with me.
If Jesus knew the people I hate, he would hate them, too. Right?
For most of us, love is a transaction, just like a transaction at a store. When I buy something, I get a product or service and I hand over something of value. It’s an exchange. That’s the way we tend to see love.
“If you love me — and if you‘re good to me — I’ll love you and be good to you. But if you stop loving me, I’m going to hate you.”
We might or might not admit that, but it’s how we mostly act. For those of us who are Christians, we might try not to hate others. We might try to force ourselves to love those we don’t want to love. We keep promising ourselves we’ll do better.
But we can’t do better — because the ego that is making the guilty promise is the entire problem.