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A man was sitting by a river under a tree when he noticed a scorpion caught in the roots of the tree. The river was slowly rising and the scorpion was about to drown in the water. The man reached toward the scorpion to save him, but the scorpion tried to strike him. He tried this several times and each time nearly being struck by the scorpion. A man that was passing by saw the ordeal and said, “don’t you know that is a scorpion, and it is in his nature to want to sting you.” The man trying to help the scorpion responded, “that may very well be, but it is in my nature to try and save, and must I change my nature because the scorpion does not change his nature?”
As Jesus preached the sermon on the mount, one of the most difficult commands that He gave is to love your enemies. Matthew 5:43-44 says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, 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 which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” This concept goes against all that we are taught and often all that we want. We want to get back at our enemies and we often want bad things to happen to them. This is what is expected of us in our society, yet this is quite the opposite from what God has commanded.
Have you ever stopped to consider why someone is an enemy? If our heart is as it should be, then no one should be our enemy because we have decided that they are our enemy. Enemies are enemies because for one reason or another they have decided to be our enemy. Often people decide to be our enemies because they don’t like the fact that we as Christians teach and stand for truth. Other times people decide to be our enemy simply because they don’t like our personality. Yet regardless of the reason, one should never be our enemy because we have decided they are our enemy.
When we love our enemy, we want what is best for them. We want them to know the truth and to come to obey the truth. We want them to be right with God and to live as He has commanded. We want them to change so that they can go to heaven. When we love our enemy, we will go out of our way to show them the right way...even when they have lashed out at us. When we love our enemy, we wont desire harm or misfortune for them, but rather we will desire for them to change to be right.
It is often easy to grow to hate those who have chosen to be our enemies. When we grow to hate them we have allowed them to change us into someone we don’t want to be. Our enemies may never change who they are. They may never change to doing what is right and living right. However, I don’t have to change to be like them just because they won’t change to be like God.