“You have heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you will become children of your Father in heaven, because he makes his sun rise on both evil and good people, and he lets rain fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you greet only your relatives, that’s no great thing you’re doing, is it? Even the unbelievers do the same, don’t they? So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
This saying is hard enough that we tend to leave “love” as a gaseous feeling of not-hating when it comes to our enemies. When I see bad people around the world, I studiously avoid hating them. This is not loving them, but it is good enough, I hope.
But it is not nearly good enough, because loving is more than not hating.
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