Yesterday, while hanging out with my 7 year old nephew… I asked him why he seemed “sad”. At first he told me that he didn’t really want to talk about it – so I told him that it was okay not to want to talk about it, but if he ever did want to talk with Uncle Phil… that he could talk about anything and anytime, and I would be willing to listen and help, if I was able.
This gentle nudge had the effect I hoped for… and he told me what was making him feel sad. In reality, he said that it was not sadness – rather he was confused about something. What he was confused about is something that “we” all struggle with… and I told him as much and that he should not feel bad for being confused.
As my nephew explained his trouble, it became clear that the real issue is how is it possible to actually “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Why should be not only “love” those that are or who we consider to be – our enemies? Not only are we to “love” them, but we are also needing to pray from them… this certainly is confusing.
In my best encouraging tone, I gave him this simple advice… Treat everyone the same way that you want to be treated, and because you want to be treated nicely – that you need to work hard be nice to everyone – even if they are not being nice to you.