A Baptist pastor named Peter Miller was from a small town in Pennsylvania who lived during the American Revolution. And there was another man who lived there named Michael Wittmann, an evil-minded sort who did all that he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. He made his life miserable.
One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. At first, Peter Miller thought, "Well, thank goodness the Lord took care of that guy. I didn’t know how much more I could take!" But then he remembered the part of the Bible from Matthew 5, which said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." And he was like, "Oops! I guess I blew that one, Lord." And he decided to travel seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.
He approached General George Washington with the request. And Washington said, "No, Peter. I cannot grant you the life of your friend."
The old preacher said, "My friend? This guy’s not my friend. He’s the bitterest enemy I have!"
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