“Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.” Most of us average folks don’t really have what we can classify as enemies. We all have people we don’t particularly like and who may not like us. We all have those who annoy us or aggravate us. There are people in our lives whose personalities grate on us or who’s peculiarities unsettle us. We may even have friends or relatives who disappoint or hurt us. But, enemies? Yet, Jesus did have enemies and what he is saying is “Love them. Do good to them.” If he is telling us to love enemies, what about our day to day relationships with people who irritate us? For us, the bottom line is attitudinal. We can choose to act with respect if not intimacy. We can choose to follow Jesus or not.
May I reflect Christ’s Spirit in my relationships with others.
Consider what you believe to be the essence of Christian spirituality and behavior. Is your daily living consistent with the teaching of Jesus?
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. Be full of tender affection toward each other… Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, continue instant in prayer. Communicate to the necessities of the saints, pursue hospitality. Bless them who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Agree in the same affection toward each other. Mind not high, but condescend to low, things. Be not wise in your own conceit. Render to no one evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all. If it be possible, as much lies in you, live peaceably with all. Dearly beloved, revenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay”, says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink…. Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
For Jesus, the presence of God’s Spirit is evident in human interactions of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, sharing, working for justice, respect, joy, working for peace, When you see these things, you know God’s Spirit is here. When you do these things, you know God’s Spirit is here in you. Jesus called people to recognize and name the presence of God’s Spirit in their midst. This should be the heart of the Gospel message Christianity shares with the world today. The good news is that in everyday decent human interaction all people encounter the sacred, the Spirit of God at work.
Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.
There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.
Henri Frederic Amiel