Jesus tells us that we should not hate our enemies, but we should love them and pray for them.  That sounds like an idea I could get behind.  I’m pickin’ up what He’s puttin’ down.  But when I try to put it into practice, I often have trouble finding an enemy to pray for and love. 

Shoot, if I was the Road Runner, I would pray for Wile E. Coyote every day.  If I was Rocky Balboa, I’d show Ivan Drago how much I love him by baking brownies at least once a week.  I would even invite Darth Vader to the Jedi Council Christmas party. 

The fact of the matter is that I don’t have one lifetime enemy, an epic rival that is always out to get me and foil my plans.  I would guess that very few of us do here in the real world.  So how does the “loving your enemy” principal really apply to us, then?

I believe that we all have every day enemies that haunt us.  But we would never use the term enemy to describe them.  We call them “the guy that cut me off in traffic,” “my neighbor and his stupid dog,” “that lazy waitress,” and “that guy at church that got mad at me for sitting in his spot.”  These are the people that make us angry, and get in the way of us continuing our lives as planned.  These are the folks that we get back at by talking badly about them, purposefully ignoring them, and intentionally loving them less.

Sure, Jesus wants us to love and pray for those villains that sometimes make a major negative impact on our lives.  But the practical application of this command is that we need to stop being so selfish when we are inconvenienced, delayed, or even purposefully deceived by those we interact with and may never see again. 

Even if those people are truly guilty of wrongdoing, our judgment and frustration toward them is insignificant, self-serving, and ultimately detrimental to our own ability to show love to everyone.  We need to pray for them.  We need to love them, forgive them, and move on.  If we can do that consistently, it will become a habit and we will constantly find ourselves enemy-free.  How cool would that be?

Who do you see as your every day enemies?

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