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Mathew 5:44

Patrick Fries

ASB 1098 – BIL 102
March 3, 2012

I have read and understand the plagiarism policy as outlined in the syllabus and the sections in the Student Catalog relating to the IWU Honesty/Cheating Policy. By affixing this statement to the title page of my paper, I certify that I have not cheated or plagiarized in the process of completing this assignment. If it is found that cheating and/or plagiarism did take place in the writing of this paper, I understand the possible consequences of the act/s, which could include expulsion from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mathew 5:44 2

Few tasks an person faces are more emotionally or mentally challenging than that of managing conflict. And yet, conflict is a fact of life in this world, so it’s crucial that all people learn how to manage it with an eye toward positive closure. Over the course of a lifetime, every eperson will have countless opportunities to work with others through relational, philosophical and methodological differences. On occasion those differences may lead to personal strife, and the person’s opponent may appear to be an enemy. At such times the words of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount will take on added significance:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44)

What is Matthew 5:44 telling us? Love your enemies, “ It is impossible to love the conduct of a man that curses and reviles us, and injures our person or property, or that violates all the laws of God; but though we may hate his conduct, and feel deeply that we are affected by it, yet we may still wish well to the person; we may pity his madness and folly; we may speak kindly of him, and to him; we may not return evil for evil; we may aid him in the time of trial; and seek to do him good here, and to promote his eternal welfare hereafter.” (Barnes)

Bless them that curse you. “The word bless here means to speak well of or to. Not to curse again, or to slander, but to speak of those things which we can commend in an enemy; or if there is nothing that we can commend, to say nothing about him.” (Barnes)

Another translation of Matthew 5-44 is, “Jesus freely acknowledges that we will have enemies, yet we are to respond to them in love, trusting that God will protect our cause and destroy our enemies in the best way possible, by transforming them into our friends.” (Guzik)
Mathew 5:44 3 After reading this scripture one must ask themselves how do we learn to forgive our enemies? How do we show love towards our enemies? How do we not try and defeat or humiliate our enemies?

On November 17, 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a sermon at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. It was based on this very passage of Scripture, and the sermon’s title was “Loving Your Enemy.” Through the course of his sermon, Dr. King suggested three ways by which we can do just that.

First, we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. Such forgiveness doesn’t mean that we ignore the wrong committed against us. Rather, it means that we will no longer allow the wrong to be a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness, according to King, “is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.”

Second, we must recognize that the wrong we’ve suffered doesn’t entirely represent the other person’s identity. We need to acknowledge that our opponent, like each one of us, possesses both bad and good qualities. We must choose to find the good and focus on it.

Third, we must not seek to defeat or humiliate our opponent, but to win his or her friendship and understanding. Such an attitude flows not from ourselves, but from God as his unconditional love works through us. (King Jr)

After doing my research into Matthew 5:44, I have a much better understanding into what God expects from me when dealing with my enemies. Enemies will come into our lives and how we deal with them will truly determine if we are followers of the Lord. What we must do is to try and find the good in

Mathew 5:44 4 all of God’s people and to use that as motivation to love them. If we spent more time forgiving and loving our enemies I believe this will give us more time to focus on ourselves and our relationship with God. This will also allow us to communicate better with others because we will not be so clouded with emotion when dealing with others. When we learn to Love our Enemies and forgive them we can truly communicate with everyone. We spend too much time holding grudges and trying to get even with people we cheat ourselves of finding the good in everyone.

Barnes, A. (2011). Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament. Retrieved March 03, 2012, from

Guzik’s, D. (2003). David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible. Retrieved March 03, 2012 form

King Jr, M. (1957) Loving Your Enemies. Retrieved March 03, 2012 from…...

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