Sympathy for your enemy? - Romans 12:15

In Romans 12:15-16 we learn that, like Christ we are to empathize with others. The calling of Gospel in our individual lives is not one to live alone, as a hermit, hording our knowledge of the Good news. Rather, we are called by Christ, and filled with the spirit, to go out and tell others of Christ. (Gal 6:1-2, 10) This telling is two fold as we see in Romans 12, we rejoice with those who rejoice, and we are to weep with those who weep.

If you ask my wife, she'd say I’m a sympathetic crier. I can watch a movie with a father who cries for the loss of a child and I’ll lose it too… But I struggle to cry or feel for the bad guy in a movie.

So, we must ask, who are we being called to be sympathetic with? Even those who persecute us? Simply put, YES! Jesus had mercy on those who were beating him, (Luke 23:34). When Jesus could have called an army of angels to kill all humans who were beating / crucifying him, he called to the Father and asked that he would have mercy on them.

One of my current aggravations is when I hear a believer spill hatred toward anyone verbally. The other day I heard a believer mention hating someone who was in court that had done wrong toward his or her loved one. I’ve also recently heard hatred spilled out for the Muslim community because of political and religious reasons. My heart however breaks for both, I don’t want to see anyone suffer hatred from people who should live mercy, or see these people without a proper knowledge of God.

In reflecting on this teaching of being merciful even to our enemies, what keeps our Gospel communities from obeying this text? I believe there are several reasons that we don’t live out our life individually and corporately as Christ did.

Why should the Gospel Community show mercy to our opposers? Why would we feel sorrow for our, political, spiritual, or physical enemies? Two simple answers…
            This is what Jesus did (John 11:35)
            This is what Jesus does (Heb. 4:14-16)
I want to leave you and possibly any Gospel community with a question that I’ve had to work through over the past couple years.
Is Christs sympathy for us producing sympathy in us for all?

(Remember, we are to be the visible Christ, until he returns.)
Matt. 5:7  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
This passage probably can be state backwards too… blessed are the ones who received mercy, for they shall be merciful. 

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