“Love your enemies.”Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:44
Loving our enemies is the essential outcome of any spiritual practice and essential prerequisite to any conflict intervention. It’s the ultimate test of our character as a human being, community, or nation. And of course, it’s the central principle of this work.
Everything else we can play around with and pay lip-service to, quite easily. We can showcase and showoff all sorts of displays of high acts that glorify how much of a hero, saint, or savior we are.
It’s easy to portray how good we are to the poor and downtrodden, the sick and destitute, the oppressed and marginalized. Hollywood, Bollywood, and Tollywood all love to milk this and feed us this stuff of course.
But do we love our enemies? Do we turn to face them? Do we see them as ourselves?
If we don’t, we’re a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is loving only our friends. We have to at least be honest.
Why is it hypocritical? Because in the name of unity, we’ve sectioned off humanity, rather than embrace all as part of our shared reality. We’re causing division when there is only Truth (Love).
We’re all the Same Consciousness. There’s no separation between us and our enemies.
Our mettle is determined by how we treat those who misunderstand us, mistreat us, or condemn us. Our salvation is determined by this as well.
Now the solace is it doesn’t matter how we might be treated in return. It doesn’t matter if our enemies love us back. Nor does it mean we have to be close to them. We can have space between us. Thankfully.
However, what we are called to do is radiate love for them, within ourselves. There’s no escaping this responsibility as a human being.
We can never remind ourselves ENOUGH this critical message.