Post by Pastor Tim – Luke 6:27 says, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” These words gained new meaning to me as I walked through the Korean War Museum last month in Seoul, Korea.
What I found particularly interesting is that when the Korean War ended in 1953, South Korea never signed the armistice. And because they never signed the armistice, in the eyes of many Koreans the two countries are still technically at war. You see, the South originally wanted to continue to fight and unite the two countries once and for all instead of ending the war with the country divided.
What makes this so fascinating, is that over the last few decades South Korea has provided more aid to North Korea than any other country. While still at war, the South gives aid to their enemies in the North!
While this might seem incredulous at first, it shouldn’t be a concept that’s so foreign to us as Christians. In the Whole Life Offering, Pastor Foley notes that doing good to our enemies should be a core discipline in Christianity. In fact, Jesus did good towards us in that he died for us while we were still His enemies (Romans 5:6-10), and this is the good that we are now to mirror to others.
But even with the example of South Korea and the more important one of Christ, it may still be difficult to know how to begin doing good to our enemies. That’s why in our Colorado DOTW Congregation, each member is beginning to do good by praying for one of his/her enemies each day this week. The Prayers for Enemies web-site has been a great starting point to learn some of the churches’ more traditional prayers concerning their enemies.
Prayer may not seem all that earth-shattering, but it’s exactly what the Scriptures tell us to do (Matthew 5:44) and what Jesus himself modeled when He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).”
Prayer is so central and foundation to Work of Mercy of doing good, because it not only has the capacity to change the heart of our enemy and ourselves, but it also helps us to understand the good that God wants us to do.
And in order to get that “understanding” part, we have to be willing to learn from and reflect on our prayers. Here are some questions that I will be reflecting on and I would invite you to do the same after you’ve prayed for your enemies for a week.
- How are Jesus’ commands in Matthew 5:43-48 related to the Work of Mercy of doing good?
- How did I specifically pray for my enemy this week?
- How has my life been affected by praying for my enemy?
- What have I sensed the Lord asking me to do in relation to my enemy?