By Jenna Walmer
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 38-48
As I have noted, the last few blog posts have been more difficult to discuss for varying reasons. However, we have finally reached loving your enemies and completed chapter 5!
This section is easier to fathom for the Brethren because we have grown with this teaching instilled in our mind. Although it may be hard to pray for those who hate you, we more naturally love everyone and reject the idea of “getting even” with someone. So when we are wronged we forgive others.
By telling us to not retaliate, we are kept from taking the law into our own hands. We overcome evil with good by praying and loving those who hate us. If you love the people who treat you unjustly, it truly shows that the Lord is the center of your life. Loving those who wrong us is capable through God’s unconditional love and his strength that is given to us. Also, he gives us humbleness and selflessness. He provides the courage and strength to show love to those who do not give it in return.
Think of the one person that came to mind during the Sermon of the Mount Part 4 post on anger. In this blog post, I addressed how anger means there is a broken relationship with God. It also applies when you do not love everyone, also addressed in that post. This time, think of the people who are directly vile to you, not just the ones who you don’t like just because they are unjust to others. All of the people you are called to love because THEY ARE PEOPLE, just like yourself. As we are told in multiple places in the Bible, love others as yourself and to everyone be kind. I also think they are song lyrics.
We are Dunker Punks. One of the main ideas is to radically love. If we start being just to others and enhance our loving capacity, how would that shape the world? Would the wars dwindle? Would the innocent civilians, men, women and children, dying around the world, decrease? Would more people start acting like us? Will we one day be able to stand hand in hand and sing Kumbaya? That last one is kind of a stretch, but that’s the gist of the idea, is it not?
We are called to love boldly: To step out in faith and show those who don’t believe, believe in and hope for peace and unconditional love. To advocate and work for those who are desperate for a safe place to live because of violence. Start a revolution in your area of loving everyone and maybe it will go worldwide.
Jenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
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