“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
(Matthew 5:43-45, KJV)
Most Americans remember the events of September 11th, 2001 as a time of sadness and mourning. But there was also anger, fear and even hate. Powerful emotions which were directed at the enemy, an enemy most of didn’t even know.
So our President, George W. Bush, mobilized the strongest military in the world, invaded Afghanistan and defeated the Taliban. Since then Four thousand eight hundred and sixty five American soldiers have died while Afghanistan and Iraqi casualties vary from one hundred fifty thousand to nearly a million depending upon your source.
A lot of people have died because our President, our government and many of our citizens either failed to read or chose to ignore Matthew 5:43-45.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
According to the Center for Defense Information, the estimated cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will reach $864 billion by the end of fiscal year 2009. It cost around 40 billion dollars to remove the Taliban from power. What if we had used the remaining 820 billion to rebuild Afghanistans infrastructure, educate the citizens, create jobs and help the citizens build a working democracy?
Yes, I have read Matthew 7:6 where Jesus says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
That verse is directed at the Pharisees and priests, the ones who believed they were the sole purveyors of the truth of God. It is a warning to be wary of those who would encourage us to do things in the name of God that are contrary to the will of God. No earthly person or power deserves blind obedience.
Governments have a responsibility to enforce justice, not exact revenge. However, when Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”, He wasn’t making a political statement. He was talking to each of us as individuals, explaining how we can be better people.
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
(1 John 2:9-10 NKJV)
The best view of God is through His children. Even if someone is not aware of God, God is still aware of them. And then so should we be. Only when we are able to see past our hatreds, fear and jealousy can we walk in the light and understand the richness of life.