“Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessing on those who hurt you. If someone slaps ou on the cheek, let him slap the other too! If someone demands your coat, give him your shirt besides. Give what you have to anyone who ask for it; and when things are taken away from you, don’t worry about getting them back. Treat others as you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:27-31.
You know something? If everyone in the world obeyed that principle, spoken long ago by a Galiean named Jesus, every nation could cut it’s defense spending by 100 percent. Law enforcement officials would be reduced to getting cats out of trees and helping little old ladies across the street.
Former President Ronald Reagan included in on one of his speeches these words, “if everyone obeyed the principles of the Bible, there would be worldwide peace.”
What simple words- and yet how staggering: “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you! Pray for the happiness of those who curse you!” it is directly opposite to what we so often practice.
Furthermore, we don’t want to forgive. It is too difficult for us, we claim, Easier by far to strike out and wound the one who has wounded us. Forgiveness of our enemies sounds like an invitation to disaster.
And yet forgiveness is precisely the way that God deals with us. God forgives man and teaches him to forgive himself and those around him.
If you fail to forgive, you will be forever imprisoned by the past. You will be forever under the other person’s control. Is that what you really want?
I know forgiveness is not a reaction that the world holds in much favor today. We look more to the Dirty Harry’s of life; to the high plains drifter; to the hard, cold eye of the avenger. We reason that forgiveness such as that taught by our Lord is not much of a tool for survival in this wicked world. And yet, that is exactly what it is!
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