Opinion: Extend the love, even to your enemies
PUBLISHED: 08:30 07 December 2019
Rev Thom Jee
Recently, I watched the election debate on BBC, and after two hours I still felt unsure of who to vote for.
Largely, the reactions in the media have been of disappointment with the party leaders, frustration by the choice on offer, and despair at the seeming popularity of a party that they loathe.
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As a country, it seems we have never been more divided, or frustrated at the political process. And we are quick to vilify those with whom we disagree. One of the moments of light in the debate came for me when Jo Swinson talked with an ardent leave voter, and asked if they could agree to disagree, without branding the other a 'bad person.'
But that hope seems far off. At the moment our politics is a politics of division. If we are ever to move forward, we need to learn how to disagree well. Jesus told us to 'love our enemies' - words that seem simple, but which we struggle to put into practice. How can we move beyond this politics of division?
Jesus pulled few punches when disagreeing with his opponents. He was critical of the political and religious establishment of his day. But simultaneously he modelled radical love and acceptance to all. Treating people primarily as people. And never more so than when he gave up his life, dying on the cross, sharing God's love even with those who were torturing him.
We could all profit from his example. When we begin from the unconditional, undeserved, and self-sacrificial love God has shown for us, we might have a chance at extending that love even to those with whom we disagree.