By; Danny Wallace
Jesus always approaches things differently than religion. Where religion says that we should love our neighbors and hate our enemies, Jesus said that loving our neighbors goes without saying. Even the lowest of sinners loves their own kind.
Jesus asked us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. Through this uncommon love we demonstrate to the world that we are children of God. Jesus said that our Father causes the sun to rise on the evil man, and on the good man. He sends rain to both the righteous and the unrighteous. He told us that even the vilest among us could love our own kind. What fool doesn’t love and cherish those people who love and cherish us? Our true heart is revealed in how we love those we consider to be “unlovable.”
We spend most of our lives gathering friends, fans, and applause from those who agree with us. We often do what every misguided leader does. We surround ourselves with “yes men.” We tend to find comfort in those who dress like us, vote like us, and those who attend the same religious denomination to which we subscribe. These things are so easy to accomplish. Who doesn’t love their own kind, and who refuses to hang out with those who “hang” on our every word?
What we say while standing proudly in these circles reveals nothing about who we really are deep inside our hearts. What is really in our hearts is only revealed when we encounter our own tax collectors, thieves, and those with adulterous hearts. What do we say to our betrayer? Do we wash the feet of our friends and skip our betrayer, or do we follow Jesus and wash the feet of all people with the blessing of our words – our tears – and our prayers?
Our love for God is revealed in the words we choose for our enemies, not in the words of praise we reserve for our friends, and they for us.