One of the most shocking edicts in all of religion is Christ's command to his followers (see Matthew 5 and Luke 6) to love their enemies:
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,It just seems so counterintuitive. To some, it seems impossible.
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
But it has a great many advantages. The one I'd like to discuss today is a simple one of efficiency. Loving one's enemies completely cuts out of the decision-making process a rather time-consuming and difficult multi-step process: the separation of friends from enemies.
Oh, it's complicated. You need to collect a lot of data about past behavior of the person. You have to predict motives from the behavioral data, which anyone will tell you is quite tricky. Often, a person will be your ally in one area and your enemy in another. What to do? You have to categorize them one way or the other. And then, finally, once you have sorted the person with whom you've come in contact, you can finally decide an appropriate action: loving or unloving.
I believe in ma-a-gic ... Why? Because it is so quick. So sang the 1960s pop group LOVE (with Arthur Lee). Loving one's enemies means you can treat friends and enemies the same (remember, you're allowed to love your friends, too!), which really simplifies things!
So, under the new Love-Everyone-Regardless protocol, the process is shortened down to discerning what is the loving thing to do in any given situation.
There is not so much to remember, either. No longer do you have to keep those meticulous grudge records, which leaves more storage space in your brain for other things!