During the American Revolution, an old preacher, Peter Miller, was a friend of George Washington. He had an enemy by the name of Whitman. Whitman was in custody for treason and facing execution. Miller walked 75 miles to plead with George Washington to spare his enemy’s life. Thinking he was pleading for a friend, Washington said, “I can’t grant you the life of your friend.” Friend?” said the old preacher, “He’s my worst enemy.” What?” asked Washington? “You walked 75 miles to plead for your enemy? In that case, I’ll grant your request.” In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us to love our enemies; to pray for those who persecute us! By doing so, we will be acting as true children of our Father in heaven. He gives sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Jesus said if you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even the worst sinners do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? He said we are to be perfect or mature or whole as our Father in heaven is perfect.” In saying we should love our enemies, Jesus turns society’s values upside down. Of course, we can only do this when we have the Lord’s indwelling presence to give us power to do it. Just think. If more people practiced this, we could reduce violence all over our world.
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