How easy is it to love someone who hates you? Is it a challenge for you to not retaliate against a person who shows a great deal of animosity and hatred towards you? Yesterday I was involved in the Jericho March for the 40 Days for Life Spring Rally. The Rally and March activities entails praying, singing, carrying pro-life signs, and walking a 1mile section of sidewalk around the Planned Parenthood facility in Ann Arbor. This a very respectful, peaceful, Christ-centered event, which is conducted for 7 Sundays during the Lenten Season, to promote the sanctity of human life.
While we walked along the designated route in a very peaceful manner, we were confronted or openly addressed by several individuals in cars who were screaming very hateful, hostile, disrespectful, and downright vulgar remarks at us. These harassers were also making various obscene gestures towards us as they passed by or sat at the stop lights. Such indecent antics were carried out by these people to show their disgust and disapproval for what we were doing and what we were standing for.
It is sad that pro-life supporters are called hateful, uncompassionate, uncaring, overbearing, and numerous other negative character traits. I don’t believe this is a true statement by any stretch of the imagination. As those who are Christians and followers of Christ, we are called to love those who hate us, to care for those who are in danger or need, love your neighbor as yourself. In fact, Jesus teaches us in Luke 6:27-33, 35-36, "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Yes, dear friends in Christ, it is hard to follow Jesus’ example, but if we truly love Him we will desire to pray for and love others, even our enemies! Pastor McCarty