This command from Jesus given to us by Luke muddies the definition of “love.” Personally, I will never love my enemies; however, I will try to understand them and that may even lead to respect then discussion and perhaps compromise. That’s the best I can do. I suspect the vast majority of us feel that same way. “Doing good to them” is a step in the right direction to sow seeds of reconciliation, but not if our enemies have no interest in reciprocating. Hence the worldwide mess we have.
Our “reward will be great” when we love them, and we will become “children of the Most High.” Some of us find it impossible to believe that the Most High is “kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” I suppose the wicked and ungrateful can change their ways when treated with kindness, and there’s our challenge and the rub.
With all that said, let’s get a proper perspective. We are already children of the Most High even when we don’t love our enemies. In fact, many of us are ungrateful and even wicked. So, in this case, it’s in our best interest to love our enemy if for no other reason than we can be our own worst enemy.
According to the magazine Psychology Today and author Robert L. Leahy: “Do you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts about yourself—repeatedly putting yourself down, criticizing yourself, comparing yourself to other people you think are perfect? When you make a mistake, do you think it’s absolutely awful, that anyone else would have done a better job, and that it's an example of some permanent flaw you have?
If so, then, like many people, you are often your own worst enemy, negating everything you do and blowing things up as if your mistakes are the worst that anyone can imagine. (Oct 2017).
Let’s love ourself and turn our worst enemy into our best friend.
Deacon David Pierce