The U.S. and Iran aren’t exactly best friends if you know what I mean. Lately the tension has really been rising. Earlier this week an Iranian leader warned America to keep out of the Persian Gulf. Despite the warnings, the U.S. Navy remained in the area. As it so happens, our Navy detected Somali pirates and a distress call from an Iranian boat. The Navy could have left things alone, but they decided to take action against the pirates. They took over the ship, detained 15 pirates, and rescued 13 Iranian fishermen. Josh Schminky, a Navy Criminal Investigative Service agent, stated, “When we boarded, we gave them [the Iranian fishermen] food, water, and medical care…They had been through a lot. We went out of our way to treat the fishing crew with kindness and respect” (Fox News).
These Navy soldiers did a great act of service towards these Iranian people who could have been considered enemies. This story is a great reminder of Christ’s words in Matthew 5:43-44, “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This also ties in with parable of the Good Samaritan and loving those who we may not like (Luke 10:25-37). Clearly Christ’s message is for us to love and respect all people, especially our enemies.
This is always a tough pill to swallow, but a necessary one. Most people today are quick to hate and slow to love. God is calling for us as Christians to be different, to stand out. He is calling us to love and respect when most would not. Many of us have sung these words many times in worship, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
May we live in such a way that people will know from the way we treat others that we are different, that we are Christians.