Love your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
.
Friends in the Lord, in this teaching of Christ, we see a huge difference between our religion and all the others. If we are really Christians, we love our enemies. But the word love has many meanings. In ancient times, there were different words for different love. The New Testament is written in Greek; in Greek, there are these words for love:
.
Storge meant a family love; love of a parent for a child and child for parent. Storge.
.
Eros is a love with passion, a longing, sensual love, associated with sexual love ; it is not found anywhere in the bible.
.
Philia is the love of good affection; it is one’s love for his truest friends, a tender love.
.
And agape is the highest love; it is the word Jesus uses to say, ‘Love your enemies.’ ‘Agape’. Agape means invincible good will, it means that no matter what that person does to us, no matter how he treats us, or insults us, we will regard him with invincible goodwill. St. Thomas says it means we desire the best for our neighbor.
.
Jesus therefore, does not ask us to love our enemies in the same way we love our children, or our dear friends, the word is different. What is the difference?
.
In the case of our wife or our child or our friend, we can’t help but love them, we are attracted to them, it is easy; the emotions of the heart pull us to them. But in the case of our enemies- those who are against us, who irritate us- this love must be in our will; we must will it, choose it.
.
Of course our enemy is not just ISIS, but could be someone at work or even in our home. But this type of love does not just happen, it is not of our feelings, we have to will ourselves into doing it.
.
Agape is not a feeling of the heart; it is a determination of the mind. It is the power to love those whom we don’t like, and who don’t like us. This love does not mean we are passive; it may mean serious words, it may mean dealing with a difficult person, and it certainly means praying for them. This kind of love never dismisses someone or ignores them.
.
To love someone who is against us or who dislikes us is only possible for a Christian; it is only possible, if Jesus is living in us.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation