In the Didache we read: “Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the nations do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy.” (Didache 1:3-5) Do each of us really follow these mandates? Do we understand the implications of the opposite? For example, not loving our enemies, not blessing those who curse us and not fasting for those who persecute us?
Each and every human being on this earth is a child of God, and ultimately, each person must answer for his or her actions towards one another, among other things. If we hate one of God’s children, we have sin within us, and we can not love God. If we hate any one, we are hating our brother or our sister, and the presence of our Father in heaven will not be with us.
We read in the New Covenant Scriptures: “If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20)
Yeshua spoke of the grave importance of forgiving one another when he provided the prayer which we recite at least three times per day, called the Lord’s Prayer. After teaching this prayer to his disciples, he said, “For if you forgive men their wrongdoing, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their wrongdoing, neither will your Father forgive your wrongdoing.” (Matthew 6:14,15)
Again, it is imperative that we forgive not only our religious brothers and sisters, but even those who might be considered our enemies, because they too are our brothers and sisters because of the fact we are all children of God on this planet. The Didache tells us that we “shall not hate any man.” (Didache 2:7) Not forgiving our brethren and our enemies, our Father will not forgive our own sin.
Let us daily cultivate love and compassion for our brothers and sisters in the faith, and work toward having the same sentiments toward our enemies, as this is the way of Yeshua in which we must emulate.