REVERSING THE ME VERSUS THEM PARADIGM

"Do I have enemies?" That was the question I kept asking myself as we were putting this issue together. In Biblical times, factionalism, warfare, and religious persecution were widespread, and the commandment to love one's enemies would have had a pretty literal meaning. And of course, even today, people unfortunately experience real physical and verbal assaults and attacks. But how does the command to love our enemy apply to situations when someone hasn't purposefully done us harm? I wondered.

As I thought about the topic and read the articles in this issue, I began to see that a big part of loving our enemies is resisting the temptation to apply that label to them in the first place. In a competitive setting, for example, there can be a tendency to think of others as adversaries. The same may be true when we're feeling emotional friction with another person or when there's a perceived or real slight against us. I think most of us have, at some point, thought in terms of "me" versus "them."

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ITEMS OF INTEREST
ITEMS OF INTEREST
June 21, 2010
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