Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (Luke 6:3).
Lord, shall thy bright example shine
In vain before my eyes?
Give me a soul akin to thine,
To love my enemies.
No doubt this is one of, if not the hardest, Scripture to understand and live up to. No one likes to be put in the position of being kind, doing good, and especially loving an enemy. It is beyond human reasoning, we think, for God to expect that of us, yet, it is one the great Biblical principles. Adam Clarke says, “This is the sublime precept ever delivered to man…”
It being thus, we have no choice in the matter, if we choose to follow Christ’s example and be “kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (above). Did he not love the world enough to give his very life? Mark 10:45 tells us, “…the Son of man came…to…give his life a ransom for many. Paul wrote to Timothy ”…there is one God, and one mediator between and men, the man Christ; Who gave himself a ransom for all…”
Adam Clarke continues, “…without supernatural influence, it must be for ever impracticable…”. Unless we have a soul akin to Jesus (Phil 2:5) and his love within us, we will not be able to love our enemies. After all, there are some who have trouble loving friends.
The poem asks, “Lord, shall thy bright example shine in vain before my eyes?” If we are not loving those who misuse us, who speak bad words against us, and do horrible things to us, then his example is shining in vain before eyes. As children of the Highest, may the love Christ shine through our words, actions, and even our thoughts to our enemies, for how else will they see him.