Love Your Enemies
Chapel Speech 5/9/06

Luke 6:27-36

Recently I have been thinking a lot about kindness. I struggle with being kind to people. In America I can be direct and say my opinion. I can talk to people I don't like in a civil way, but without kindness. In Japan, this is considered very rude. I must be kind to all people, even to people who annoy me. This has always been very difficult for me.

I have a younger brother. His name is Aaron. He is 20 years old. I love my brother, but often he is very annoying. For example, in my home in America, Aaron and I share a bathroom. We use the same sink, the same shower, the same toilet. Sometimes after Aaron uses the bathroom, he forgets to pick up his dirty clothes, or he doesn't flush the toilet, or he doesn't clean the sink. To me, this is very annoying. My brother also likes to watch anime on television. I don't like anime. So when I want to watch television, but he is watching anime, I become annoyed. In these annoying times, it is difficult for me to remember to love my brother. 

When I was in high school, there was a bully named Joey. He insulted me because my clothes were not fashionable, because I liked school and enjoyed studying, because I didn't play sports, because I didn't have many friends. He was very mean to me. Sometimes I was so angry with him that I said mean things to him. Joey was my enemy. I did not love him. Actually, I hated him.

It is very easy to be kind to people we like.Most people in the world are kind to their friends and people who love them. However, it is very difficult to be kind to people who annoy us, or who are mean to us, or who don't respect us. It is difficult to love our enemies, but this is what Jesus tells us to do in this passage.

In the Old Testament, God gives the command, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This is also in Hammurabi's code. This means if someone does something to you, do the same to them. If someone hits you, hit them back. If someone steals from you, steal something from them. However, Jesus says that this law is no longer correct. Jesus says, "If someone slaps your right cheek, turn to them the left cheek." Do not seek revenge; be kind even to people who are mean to you.

In the New Testament, Jesus asks his followers to do some very hard things: leave your family behind, forget your own desires, sell all your things, love your enemies. The Bible doesn't say that a Christian life is easy. Actually, the Bible says the opposite: as Christians, our life will be very hard. But we are not Christians because it as an easy life. We are Christians because our eternal reward will be great.

We should love all people―not because they love us, but because Jesus tells us to love all people. Is there a brother or sister who annoys you? Is there a teacher you dislike? Is there a classmate who insults you? Love them and your reward will be great.
written by Ruthie @ 9:07 AM  
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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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