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Love 'Em, Even If You Don't Like 'Em

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I found the following passage of a speech by Dr, King. He gave ito a council of churches in Detroit. It was also broadcast on radio. He is inspired, of course, by Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. He is inspired by the radical words of Jesus from His His Sermon on the Mount. Jesus did not call us to an easy life, but a life of love. Loving an enemy is not easy, but Jesus told us we must do it. 43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?48 Be perfect,therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48, CSB)


"There may come a time when it will be possible for you to humiliate your worst enemy or even to defeat him, but in order to love the enemy you must not do it... The Greek language has another word [for love]. It calls it agape. Agape is more than romantic love. Agape is more than friendship. Agape is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men. Agape is an overflowing love, a spontaneous love, which seeks nothing in return. And theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. When you rise to love on this level you love all men, not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, not because they are worthful to you, but you love all men because God loves them. And you rise to the noble heights of loving the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. And I think this is what Jesus means when he says, 'Love your enemies.'" Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Loving Your Enemies". Sermon Delivered at the Detroit Council of Churches' Noon Lenten Services, kinginstitute.stanford.edu. March 07, 1961.






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