Die for my Enemies

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7–8)

As of now, typing is rather difficult. Even though there is no snow today (December 19, 2006) in Minnesota, lying down in the heat consuming, hardened grass may not have been the best way of resting, especially for one hour. It was worth it, though. As I rested on the frozen ground, after jogging through a suburban community and dense woods, I decided to soak in the mysterious, Minnesotan blue sky. In my peripheral vision, a few trees and bird silhouettes bordered my view. For me this was a needed and refreshing experience. Because of that time spent outdoors, my forearms and fingers are, only now, beginning to function normally—typing is starting to get easier. In order to fully absorb the environment and beauty around me, I gave up my warmth to the chilly night and deep Earth. Like I said earlier, I did that for an hour.

When I stood up, I drunkenly stumbled towards my house, away from the trees. A lady surprised me as I walked home. Somehow I did not sense her presence (though it was dark) and she walked by with a German Shepherd on a leash. Frequently when I see people, like that lady or a close friend, I think, would I be willing to die for that person? It’s a startling thought. In this world, many people never reach their full potential. In fact, it is rare that a person whole-heartedly strives towards the greatness inside each and everyone of us. I fully plan on finding my greatness in God. Why, then, would I sacrifice my life for someone that will never be something great? On top of that, why would I die for someone that I’ve never met? Even that raises other questions in me. Would I die for someone that I don’t respect? Who am I to judge a person's worth? Would I die for a child molester?

This has been really hard for me to understand. So, I searched the Scriptures. I found that Jesus Christ “died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). The verse following this says that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8). Christ died for us even though we were His enemies (Rom 5:10). Before dying on the Cross, Jesus told the disciples that “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Before this, he says “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (15:12). If I am going to love people like Jesus did, I have to be willing to die as He did. From now on, I choose to recklessly love. In order to enjoy the Minnesota Outdoors, I gave up my warmth. In the same way, in order to love people, I am willing to give up my life.

If you ever hear me say that I love you, know that I mean it—even if it costs me my life.