Love Your Enemies

Three ways of responding to enemies:

Way 1: The Way of Power -- retaliation, violent opposition
Way 2: The Way of Passivity -- ignoring or fleeing from harmful acts
The Third Way: The Way of Jesus Christ, characterized by nonviolent love.

Matthew 5:43-48

1) Jesus calls us to a difficult kind of love: the love of enemies.  As you think of the word "enemy," what comes to mind?  It's personal, so feel free to be honest.  (Pastor Aaron shared his memory of growing up in the 1980s believing that "the Russians" were all our enemies.)  

2) When thinking about your "enemies," consider them as their five-year-old selves.  Does the ability to see the child within someone help engender love for them?  What does it tell you about how God sees those people?

3) If someone is your enemy, then you are also someone else's enemy.  Does Jesus call them to "love their enemies," i.e. to love you?  

4) What "way" has US culture been following by and large throughout our history?  How is that working out for us?

5) Most people admire the idea of Jesus' command to love our enemies.  But most people don't follow it.  To bridge that gap, each of us must consider how Jesus' command challenges us in a personal way that matters to us.  What is ONE thing you can do this week to enact love for your enemies?  Try it, pray about it, and then share what God does as a result.

In His Grace and Peace!

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