I noticed something that made me sit up. It caught my attention. After all the years of study, it never hit me quite like today:
So love your enemies. Do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. If you do these things, you will have a great reward. You will be sons of the Most High God. Yes, because God is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Luke 6:35 ICB
To tell you the truth the first part is hard enough. The idea of actually loving my enemies. I find it difficult to tolerate my enemies. Oh, we are to love everyone– but we don’t. Not you and certainly not I.
“Do good to them” I usually live this out by avoiding them and when that doesn’t work I suck it up, trying to keep my mouth and my actions from betraying my dislike, and wait til alone with a friend to complain about said enemy. So I have lived out ” do good to them” as “don’t act on my negative feelings” But that is not what is says.
Then we are called to lend to our enemies and not expect (nor even hope) to get anything back! I just can’t imagine me wanting to lend to an actual enemy. IRL (in real life) I do not have any enemies but I do have people in my life that I do not think highly of. I can not imagine loaning them $20 and not expecting it back. Or giving them groceries, or loaning out my coffee maker. If I wouldn’t do it for people I just don’t care for– how can I do it for my actual enemies.
I mean surely Jesus wasn’t talking about the cruel Roman military of his time! He wasn’t referring to Nero (who set Christians on fire and used them as torches)! How far does this extend? Because I can think of some global extremists (and even American extremists) that I would rather vomit then loan to them anything. But the problem is: this is a blanket statement without qualifiers. We are called to lend to our enemies, and those we dislike, Without the thought of repayment.
And we do all this because God is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. As we have read in
Romans 5:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
And we are called to be transformed into the image of Christ and to act as God acts.
Romans 12:2 New Living Translation (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Matthew 5:48 New Living Translation (NLT)
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Luke 6:35 ICB
So love your enemies. Do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. If you do these things, you will have a great reward. You will be sons of the Most High God. Yes, because God is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin.
It is a tall order but like I have said before– this journey of walking out our faith is not for the cowardly.
I have a long way to go.
Until Next Time~