Thursday, December 7 2023 - 6:27 AM

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Pacific Southwest

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Love Your Enemy

My bedtime is 9:30 p.m. I go to bed that early so that I am able to wake up by 5:30 a.m. and exercise. Every time I exercise, I earn a unicorn sticker that I proudly affix to today’s date on the large calendar in the kitchen. I only earned two unicorn stickers last month and zero this month. Waking up at 5:30 a.m. has proven difficult as of late.

It’s not for lack of trying, I usually successfully make it to bed by 9:30. But when I’m in bed, the temptation to pull out my smart phone and scroll through my Twitter feed is far too strong. It’s especially strong tonight because there’s a twitter-shaming updating on my feed.

You see, a local university administrator was caught on camera using a horrible bigoted slur against a student, and tonight, the netizens are making her out to be the enemy, giving her a piece of their mind. I scroll past tweets that ask for the administrator’s immediate resignation and express disgust at her words and I find myself agreeing with every last one of them! But then something begins to happen. The tweets become ugly. There’s name calling, some of the worst I’ve ever seen. There’s even threats of harm.

I quickly turned off my phone, wanting no part in wishing anyone bodily harm. I’m not one of those people. Or am I?

I have to admit that a part of me that I don’t like to admit exists was rejoicing at this woman’s downfall. That’s not to say that I condone her actions. I believe that bigotry is wrong. What the administrator said to her student was very wrong. But I have to question my willingness to rejoice in someone’s downfall. Maybe instead of smiling as I see her shame on my twitter feed, I can pray for her. Her words were horrendous, but she is not without redemption. She is, after all, a child of God.

So tonight, I will put away my phone and go to bed while whispering a prayer. I pray for my enemy, that God may touch her heart and mine, as well. I pray that God wakes me up in the morning with a new and loving spirit. And with the energy to finally earn this month’s first unicorn sticker!

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44, NLT).

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy Love Your Enemies | What Did Jesus Really Mean by “Love Your Enemies”? 

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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