Loving Our Enemies
In remembrance of 9/11, we must remember to love our enemies as Christ called us to do:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” -Matthew 5:43-44, NAB
Ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, hijackers flew two planes into the World Trade Center towers, forever changing the landscape of New York City. Beyond New York City, the entire world felt its effect through the fear of the spread of terrorism, anger, hatred, and a number of other negative emotions. While, we rallied together in some very meaningful ways, we seemed to indulge ourselves in the hatred we felt for the perpetrators.
September 11th brought out the best in this country. As someone who was in the military at the time, I can tell you that the country was rather apathetic toward the military, that is, until 9/11 brought back a new sense of patriotism. Through the worst situation, God found a way to use it for His good as we came together in this tragic event. Despite the good that came from the situation, we also embraced our anger toward our enemies, when we should be showing them love:
“For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?” -Matthew 5:46-47, NAB
In essence, Christ is saying that it is easy to love our friends and neighbors, but what separates us as His followers is that we choose to love everyone, including our enemies. At the time, many of His followers must have thought, “easier said than done.” Well, Christ gave us the ultimate example of loving our enemies. Even as He was dying on the cross, He prayed on behalf of those who put Him there. Christ challenged us to love our enemies, and then He proved that it could be done.
September 11th was one of the greatest tragedies to ever strike this country. While we should band together as a nation and a world during these tough times, we must not forget to forgive our enemies at the same time. Take today to remember those who perished. Take some time to celebrate patriotically for the great freedoms that we find in our country. And, remember to take time to pray for enemies so that, one day, they might not be our enemies, but our friends.