Just this Sunday night, after a long day at work, the inconsiderate neighbours down the road have a drunken party to 3am Monday morning with music blaring out at full tilt. I need my sleep. I’m angry. The Police can’t come because they are too busy. Pfft.
The next morning, I’m really tired and to be frank, still ticked off! I begin to think of ways to retaliate. Egg their house. Go get all the other affected neighbours and go pound on their door, one by one, awaken them from their hungover sleep and tell them we are not happy with the noise early in the morning. We all do that for a couple hours and see how they like it. Eye for an eye… yeah, an Old Testament principle.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:43-45
Awww, what! A New Testament Principle. Jesus, you are out of your cotton-picken mind! The last thing I want to do is love these guys. Do I have to, do I…really?
I’m not the only one who has struggled with the teachings of Jesus.
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” … From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.John 6:60,66
But now my response is the same as the twelve disciples when Jesus asked:
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”John 6:67-69
I therefore must love my neighbours.
The only real question left is, how? Any suggestions?