Monday, May 2, 2011

Love the Enemy??

This post is not an easy one for me. I tend to "flee" in the face of adversity, but since God has tugged at my heart strings and since this is my blog to journal my thoughts and what God places upon my heart... I'm just going to take the plunge and share.

In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus says:

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.


If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."


If we take the first sentence of this scripture and insert Bin Laden's name. Here's how it would read: Love Bin Laden, do good to Bin Laden who hates you, bless Bin Laden who curse(s) you, pray for Bin Laden who mistreat(s) you.


What?? Wow!! For me, this scripture truly comes to life in this situation in a very real, tangible way. I don't like it... my own humanness wants to be glad this evil man has finally been brought to justice. 

The words above aren't my words... they are God's words and I don't think He's asking me to rip them apart to make them what I want them to be... I don't think God created the highlighter so we can highlight the parts of scripture we like and discard the rest.


There's so much I don't understand. I don't understand why I was robbed of time spent with my dad. Why did cancer have to win? Why does my son have to suffer every day and be enslaved to a disability he didn't ask for or deserve? Life is full of uncertainties and injustices. Thank God I don't have the control handles of life and I thank God He does!

He gives us His Word to use as a manual to guide us through the muck we muddle through. He tells us we are fighting against a presence far more evil than Bin Laden... Ephesians 6:10-12 says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

So, I ask myself what is my role in all of this... how do I love such an evil person?? I can't... certainly not without God's help. Do I believe Osama Bin Laden received an appropriate consequence?? I'm not even going to go there and thank God I was not asked to make that decision... that's not the point of this writing (I think we all agree there needed to be consequences enforced). I think the point here is to listen to what the Word of God is telling me and I "hear" it telling me that all scripture hinges on love...

I don't want to argue with anyone (if you have a hard time with anything written here, you'll have to take it up with God because they are His words). If you'd like to post a comment, I'd love to hear from you, but please keep our interactions positive and seasoned with love.


So, on this day, the day after Bin Laden's death I'm saddened... not because I hated him, but because I hated the sin that consumed him. It consumed him to the very core. I hated what that sin did to others... the destruction it caused to thousands and thousands of lives... the devastation it caused families.

...I'm saddened that my first instinct when I heard the news of his passing was to go dancing in the streets...


Father forgive me and may love abound once again...


Marisa

4 comments:

Scott said...

I have struggled, too, with this comment. You and I have spoken about this to some extent. What I do know is this: I would never have wanted to have a stroke; however, the stroke has done so much positive in the lives of others and myself that I have, at least, come to this point:
Whatever happens in life is our choice, but God will use whatever that choice is to our (and others) best in the long run. I am sorry, too, of your father's passing. I was just getting to know him well. But I also know that, because he passed, I am thinking more about him, his life, and what I can do to make mine as happy. Does that justify it all? Not in my head, but, I have learned that we are just seeing the tip of the ice burg. There is so much more to everything. I once read a novel by Issac Asimov (I believe it was called "The Gods Themselves"). It was about a group of people who worked outside of time, making little bitty changes that carried through to big effects. I see God that way. He may just do a little bitty thing, but, in the long run, it pays off big. That helps me; I am still learning.

Ereline said...

I love this post because I, too, wrote a similar one. Just like you, I wrote it fearful that I would hear all kinds of nasty reprisals. I, too, am filled with such dichotomous feelings. Surely the man was evil, but the Bible says: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls..." Proverbs 24:17 and "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live." Ezekiel 33:11.
I'm not sure how I feel about all of this. The very human side would like to celebrate with everyone, but the Christian side of me knows that the death of this man, our enemy, is not to be celebrated. I am fearful that, as a society, we are crossing the very thin line which will bring us closer to being just like our enemy. I pray that I am wrong.
Thanks for your post. Maybe there are more of us "out there" than we think.

Marisa and Brittany said...

Scott,

I love your positive attitude... you encourage me to "try" to see the glory in even the unpleasant experiences in life.

You're right... we have choices in life and what we take from our life experiences is up to us. God's Word says in Romans 8:28 that He takes yucky situations and uses them for our own good (my paraphrase:) God certainly knows what is best for us. He also knows when lessons need to be learned and when hardened hearts need to be broken... all for the purpose of drawing us closer to Him.

Scott, you are an inspiration to me! I appreciate your testimony so much and I continue to learn from you, my friend :)

Thanks for your loyal support...

Marisa

Marisa and Brittany said...

Ereline,

Thanks for your comment! I feel as though you are a kindred spirit :o) I'm so thankful we have the freedom to share our thoughts (at least for now).

I don't know about you, but I think we... as Christians, become complacent and we neglect to take a stand for what we believe God represents in our lives. We tend to go about our lives and forget there's pain, suffering, and a dying world out there.

I don't have any desire to be a part of the political arena... so, I "snuggle" up with my little blog and work hard to be faithful to those God puts in my pathway and take it one life at a time. This seems to be the direction God is taking me. As Scott has said... God can use a small gesture in a monumental way!

Blessings to you, my friend!

Marisa