“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst…In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:43, 48, Message Bible)
You aren’t always going to get treated as well as you deserve. You are very likely going to come across people that make you feel angry or hurt. Human behavior is variable and flawed. It may present a picture of individuals who merit your hatred, resentment, and who seem to invite your contempt or at the very least strong disagreement.
But Jesus is telling us here, according to this translation, that we need to grow up. It is not about how others act, it is about how we act and how we think. It’s easy to be loving and understanding toward people with common viewpoints and genial personalities. But we must and can take love to higher level and one which is much more healing. To live out our “God-created identity;” to honor Him and the infinite measure of His Love toward us, we must be expansive with our own love.
And in this way our “enemies” do bring out the best in us, not the worst. When we yield to this higher and broader sense of Love, we are uplifted ourselves. By seeing past human behavior to the fact of God’s true man, the one He created and loves, we are able to be more like Him, be more powerful in good and more free and happy.
Let’s take up this challenge. Let’s recognize that lack of love is never justified, nor is love ever beyond your capacity. God is Love. You are the reflection of His Love. It is infinitely more natural to love, to forgive, and to feel free of anger than it is to hate and to resent and to do mental battle against those we don’t agree with. We can do better. We can grow up enough to take the high road, beginning with our thinking, and simply love all, no matter what, because it blesses others but also because it will surely bless us as well.
This is today’s e-inspire. These messages are based on passages from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. These books are our “pastor” in Christian Science. Come back every Tuesday and Thursday for fresh inspiration. Or get a free subscription to receive an inspirational message like this one every morning directly to your inbox by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. A downloadable compilation of categorized messages is also available by request.