Loving our “own kind” and those who already love us is easy love. Where’s the “surpassing righteousness” or reward in that? It brings God maximum glory when our love is as expansive as his.
I admit that the enemy-love message is not exactly what you’d call “attractional.” Sadly, it’s easier to gather a crowd with the message about a God who blesses our battles and hates our enemies as much as we do. Fear, anger, and hate are more popular than love and more natural to our darker selves. Unrestricted love is neither popular nor natural. It might fit nicely on a billboard or in a country song, but when it comes to actually practicing the kind of love Jesus commands, we’d much rather love in the abstract.
Those whose ego is so relaxed by God’s love, needn’t claim superiority to those unlike them or despise those who dislike them.
This is an excerpt from a book I hope to publish in the near future on the Sermon on the Mount called: What In The World? Some Moral, Social, and Politically Disruptive Implications of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
As such, I’d appreciate your feedback on this post and others to come in order to make the final copy publish-worthy.