I wrote this a long time ago, June 3, 2007. Some of my writings were lost, but I wanted to revive this one. I liked what I wrote at the time:
In the fifth chapter of Matthew we have:
Ye have heard that it has been said, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.”
I believe this to be one of the most important teachings of Jeses. It very easy for us to get along with people we know and trust, and do nice things for those people. But what happens when someone does something against you? What if someone hurts you in some way? What if someone says something with the intention of making you look bad?
I believe that it is important first to try our best to be empathetic. To have empathy means to try understand what makes the person think the way they do. When you start doing this more often, you will see that everyone has a reason for doing what they did. Certainly some people are especially difficult, but if we try to find out the reason behind their actions, and how they came to the this conclusion, often we can better understand.
By having empathy, we can better understand ourselves and the World around us. One common problem in this World is the difference of people’s religion, but so often people come against each other because they are quick to discount the beliefs of others. Have you ever attended a meeting or gathering with people of other religions such as Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, or even Wiccan. Have actually gone and talked to the people and tried to understand why they believe the way they do? Or did you rely more on what people told you, or quickly pass judgement because you “know” they are wrong. I believe when we do this, we are not being empathetic, and we are not listening to this important passage in the book of Matthew.
And this message about loving your enemy is something that all human beings should examine carefully. If we did this one thing better, so much could change for the better.