The hounds of Hell live just around the corner from my house in Colorado, two German Shepherds with slathering fangs and burning hot coals for eyes. The chain link fence that stops them from eviscerating me has my deepest respect and gratitude. But I am convinced that the “Dog Whisperer” could nonchalantly walk into their yard and gentle them in short order.
It takes a lot of courage to be a “whisperer.” The “Dog Whisperer” and these guys who get into corrals with wild horses have great courage. But they also have something the average person does not. Somehow, they have the capacity to show they pose no threat, that they understand that the animal’s aggression is based in fear. The one who “whispers” really wants the very best for those animals.
Jesus says, “Be an enemy whisperer:”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:43-44)
The love that Jesus refers to here is genuine concern for the wellbeing of your potential adversary, at the risk of your own wellbeing. Jesus would have us get in the corral with our enemy, posing no threat and acting with the understanding his aggression is rooted in fear. Jesus would have us communicate by what we do that we are truly there to bless. Clearly, that takes a lot of courage. But it takes something else, too, something the average person does not have.
That previous quote from Jesus is incomplete. He ended the sentence by saying,
“…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:45a)
To “be a son” of someone is an idiom for being so full of his character and spirit that you thoroughly resemble him. Jesus says, love your enemies, showing that you are full of God’s Spirit and in step with His character. The Spirit of God is something the average person does not have. But Jesus came to “whisper” us, to show us He posed no threat but was out for our genuine good. He said He didn’t come to condemn the world but to save us (John 3:17). Jesus knew that without God’s Spirit we were stuck in fear. But He came, at the risk of His own life, to bless us. For those who will truly trust Him, Jesus connects them to and fills them with God’s Spirit in a living way.
And says, “Whisper your enemies…”