But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. – Luke 6:35
If you want to get a little taste of what God is like, try loving your enemies, lending money to those you know won’t pay you back, and then try being kind to ungrateful and wicked people. What does this do to one’s sense of justice and fairness? What could this possibly be about? Jesus can’t be serious about this, can He?
Here’s what I think. I think Jesus is getting us to think this way because He wants us to see something important about ourselves.
After all, what are we thinking here … that we are God’s friends, that we always pay back what we borrow, and that we are most certainly grateful and holy, and that’s why it’s so hard for us to understand why God would ask us, the holy ones, to be kind to all the wicked and ungrateful people in the world? Gee, somehow we’re going to have to find it in ourselves to love these awful people, but I suppose that if God can do it, we can too. It will be a stretch, but we will try. Is that what this is about?
Hardly. Here’s what I think it means:
There is relatively little difference between the most ungrateful, wicked people I can think of and me, and I had better be deeply grateful that God is, in fact, “unfair” in this way, because otherwise there would be no hope for me. I know this is what Jesus is saying because the very next verse is: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful [to you].” And that is followed up with: “Do not judge and you will not be judged.” See where He’s going with this? If the most High God is kind to the wicked and ungrateful, then hallelujah, there is hope for me.
When you look at it this way, it changes the whole picture, doesn’t it?
Love your enemies and be kind to those who, like you, have received the kindness of God when they don’t deserve it. And if you are ever tempted to think of God as being unfair, you should rather rejoice in that glorious inequity, because it is that very “unfairness” that got you and me into heaven.
Loved reading Today’s Catch!
Yes. Aren’t we all in the same boat? After spending a good deal of my life trying to be holier-than-thou, it’s nice to finally realize I’m worse-than-everyone.
Amen! I can say the very same about me!
Do any of us realize how important it is for people to know that someone believes in them? Obviously God does because of all He did, does, and will do for humanity.
We cannot even fathom the depths to which He sees inside our individual souls and, yet, we need to follow His lead and gaze inside to each others eyes and hearts as deeply as He would have us.
How many family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and enemies look at our professed Christianity (our alleged love for others) and, without words, request, like Jesus did, “You believe in God. Believe also in me.”?
In Proverbs 9:8 we read, “Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.”
Wiser men than I suggest a beautiful way to understand this verse: If we relate to a person as though he or she is a worthless sinner, that person will shut us out and dismiss any of our advice. But when we see the good in a person and treat them as smart, capable individuals, our advice is well received.
When people feel loved, valued, and supported, they are open to guidance and can accomplish great things.
If we truly want to help someone become better, we have to see the best in them. When we see the good in someone, we bring out the good in that person. Everyone needs someone who believes in them — let that person be you.
Think of someone who could use some encouragement and let them know how much you believe in them. See how they respond!
Excerpted from Holy Land Moments Daily Devotional 02-12-2021:
Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln!
Happy Chinese New Year!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Happy President’s Day!