And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)
Compare our contemporary days to the 80s or 70s and we are faced with the reality that things have changed. Time has succeeded in outwitting us on all sides. Things are moving on. Today, we have radicalised ourselves by our thoughts, actions, and reactions to events in our lives. Each and every one of us want to progress, to have our ways and often times to be above the other person.
In this quest for self-development, we are not in a position to think about the welfare of others as the ‘self’ in us makes us to ignore the need of the second person in or out of our lives.
That spirit of self-centredness incurs in us just one love and that is — to love ONLY ourselves. If at all anyone wants to get in our approaches, to obstruct us from achieving our objectives, then we lash out through confrontations such as wars, assassination, backbiting, degrading the reputation of others, et cetera. We call our opponents (if at all they genuinely are) our enemies of development. In as much as our perception of them remains as such, we do not mind going an extra length to guarantee their downfall.
The problem is that throughout our endeavours to trash our ‘enemies’, we lose the peace of God. That spirit of anger, and the determination to execute our intention takes us far away from the presence of the Almighty. And since His peace is switched off in our hearts, our souls and spirit, likewise true love dwindles within us. We won’t be given the opportunity to love ourselves even though our priority initially is to satisfy our selfish ambition, and also we won’t be able to love anyone else aside from our ‘supposed enemies’.
Jesus Christ loved and forgave His enemies. Why then can’t we? If we are the perfect image of God and we sincerely yearn to follow in His footsteps, there should see no reason why we mustn’t love our enemies.
Many countries are currently at war today because of narcissistic objectives. Each side desires to overtake and rule the other. They do not realise that a loveless nation equals to a nation void of peace. Unity comes from love. We all cannot realise anything in life if we are satisfied with what we do. We cannot achieve peace in any conflict zones unless we first tackle the lack of love in our midst.
As individual, our authentic love of God and His commandment will gear us to extend love, compassion and forgiveness to others irrespective of whatever they have done to us, irrespective of whether we know these people inveigled in conflict zones, or not.
When was the last time that we pray for our Muslims brothers and sisters in Syria, Sudan, Ukraine, et cetera? When was the last time that we speak well of those we’ve been told are our bona fide enemies? Must we allow the force of our argument to prevail over forgiving those who wrong us?
Indeed, may the peace of God that surpasses all human reasoning and mechanism instil in us the pure love of unity, friendship and humility to see the others as also God’s beloved like ourselves.