Abraham Lincoln chose Edwin Stanton to be his Secretary of War, even though Stanton had traveled the country slandering Lincoln to defeat him. After being elected president, Lincoln put Stanton on his short list for his cabinet. His advisors reminded him of all the terrible things Stanton had said and done to defeat Lincoln. The president said he was well aware of Stanton’s distain for him, but he believed Stanton to be the best man for the job. This helps to illustrate what Jesus taught about making peace and living in harmony with people who are our enemies. Here is what Jesus taught, found in Matthew CH 5: “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.” When we love our enemies and pray for those who take advantage of us, we are reflecting the behavior of our Heavenly Father and gaining His favor. Of course, this is not emotional love, but treating all people with fairness and compassion, as the Good Samaritan did for the man in need. We treat all others–including our enemies–as we want others to treat us.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More