Words and thoughts are not enough. Doing good involves all the things of daily life. "If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink" (Romans 12:20).
In the same ways that brothers and sisters stand by each other in times of need, bind up each other's wounds, ease each other's pain, love of the enemy should do good to the enemy. Where in the world is there greater need, where are deeper wounds and pain than those of our enemies? Where is doing good more necessary and more blessed than for our enemies?
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." Luke 6:27-28
Questions to Ponder
Does it seem counterintuitive to "do good to the enemy"? Why, or why not?
Why should the needs of our enemies matter to us?
What happens to the word "enemy" if we follow Bonhoeffer's advice and treat them like brothers and sisters?
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is always with me. Psalm 119:98
Does Jesus command to: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you" give you strength and vision for living in the midst of enemies? Why, or why not?
Jesus teaching seems to call for non-violence in dealing with our enemies. Reflect in writing what you think about that.
Pray that your "enemies" might receive every good from the hand of God and in response become instruments of God's love and justice.
Prayer for Today
Holy God who loves us all with an everlasting love, let my love for my enemies be a matter not only of words or thoughts but of specific and concrete actions.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.