Jesus has commissioned us with an impossible mission, but in a most beautiful way. It is simply impossible to love your enemies and, I believe, Jesus knew it. If you try, I mean really try and love your enemies something wonderful happens: that moment just before you actually start truly loving your enemies they are transformed into friends. It’s true, this really happens and of course it’s easy, or at least easier, to love your friends.
The wonderful thing is that at the same moment my enemy becomes my friend I am transformed too. I become my enemy’s friend. I hope though, that they realize it too, and quickly.
I don’t know if I have any enemies. I hope not. The truly wonderful thing about the commandment of Jesus to love our enemies is that the same principle applies to people that annoy me; reticule me; laugh at me; ignore me; compete with me; challenge me… They all, each and every one, can be transformed into friends and me along with them.
It’s like a big game of chicken: who’s going to make the first move? I think that’s exactly what Jesus expects of us, to be the ones who make the first move. When, in the end, we are all friends, it won’t matter a bit who moved first. We will just be so happy to be friends.
Humorously, Abraham Lincoln expressed the Gospel by saying, “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” In the Book of Proverbs (25:21-22), it says of befriending our enemies, “If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads…” And Jesus prayed for those who crucified him. He knows of what he speaks when he commands his followers to, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”