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  • Paul Condello

Why Love Our Enemies?

A love of one’s enemies allows people to live in a manner that transcends the misguided nature of hate.


The idea of loving one’s enemies allows a Christian to live in an enlightened way that reflects an awareness of factors such as misunderstandings, people’s differences, and the fact that enemies are still human beings.

As Christians bring Jesus’s teachings on enemies back to the attention of the public, some will ask why they should love their enemies. First, it should be kept in mind that this teaching is most often applicable to people from daily life and doesn’t mean that it would be okay to welcome an invading army into one’s country. The idea of loving one’s enemies allows a Christian to live in an enlightened way that reflects an awareness of factors such as misunderstandings, reasons for people’s differences, and the fact that enemies are still human beings.


For example, we know from personal experience that we haven't liked people because we didn’t know who they really were, and this was a misunderstanding. How many of us have also hated someone for a difference such as a political philosophy? How much time did we take to fairly consider their reasons? In cases where we even later came to embrace that philosophy, didn't we suddenly realize how mistaken we were about that person? A love of one’s enemies reflects these considerations from the start and allows people to live in a manner that transcends the misguided nature of hate.


In cases where a person is intentionally insulting us on a regular basis, Christians do need to find a way to talk with that person without being vengeful to settle the situation, and it takes love to do that as well. Worse situations require the intervention of managers or principals in daily life scenarios, for example, but loving one’s enemies in these circumstances still does not involve a vengeful attitude but instead a consideration of the problems, contexts, and other factors that shape a person’s misjudgments.



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