Loving Our Enemies

It may be the case that we have heard the plainest words of Holy Scripture so often that we no longer really hear them. A long but shallow acquaintance with the Bible’s most obvious teachings may serve sometimes to deflect, if not actually to dull, even the keen double-edged sword of God’s Word. We assume that the point of the divine will has already pierced its way into our hearts, whereas in truth we may have spent much of our lives dodging and deftly parrying the thrust of the blade.

Take, for example, the simple mandate to love our enemies. The thing could hardly be plainer:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. . . . But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? . . . And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? (Luke 6:27,32,33)

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

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