Can we love our enemies without being victims?

Spiritual vision—seeing man as God has created him—is the key to loving our enemies.

Christ Jesus was a supremely loving man—so loving, in fact, that his followers, past and present, are still learning how to consistently live up to the standard he set. At times it can seem hard enough to obey his command "Love thy neighbour as thyself," but Jesus demanded even more. He said, "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." These words can sound pretty impractical in a world filled with crime, prejudice, injustice, and international tensions. To many, turning the other cheek is akin to stamping the word "victim" on one's forehead.

How is it possible, then, for a Christian to follow the example set by the Master without becoming a doormat? How do we keep evil from overwhelming us when we love instead of fight? An article in Mrs. Eddy's Miscellaneous Writings entitled "Love Your Enemies" deals with the spiritual basis for expressing love in the face of evil. Mrs. Eddy's words show how one can rise above human battling to a higher plane. She writes: "Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception? What is it that harms you? Can height, or depth, or any other creature separate you from the Love that is omnipresent good,—that blesses infinitely one and all?"

The spiritual understanding of these words helps erase the fear that often arises when we are confronted by what seems to be an evil person. What we learn in Christian Science is that despite what the physical senses are reporting about an "enemy," divine Love has created each and every identity. The spiritual fact is that nothing exists in divine Love's creation to harm or threaten a single one of us, for all that is created is the emanation of God's own nature and expression.

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Don't be a hostage to anger
October 22, 1990

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