I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend of mine. She has kind of a tough exterior, having come through some pretty hard knocks in her life, and it makes her uncomfortable when people see glimpses of her soft side.
And trust me when I say she’s a SOFTY.
When I told her I’d been on to her, and her softy ways, from almost the beginning, she said she reserves the side that showcases her kindness and compassion for her immediate family and the few people she really cares about. Nobody else, though, because she’s found that most don’t deserve it, and, hey, why waste the energy?
It is seriously easy to feel that way, isn’t it? There are so many who don’t return the kindness, and after expending all that energy without receiving anything back, it’s hard to be motivated to keep it up. We’re a self-preserving society, after all, and put looking out for number one pretty high on the list.
But here’s the deal: Jesus tells us to do exactly the opposite.
Pray for your enemies.
Treat others like you want to be treated.
Love one another.
Because that’s what He did.
For the dredges of society.
For the shunned and unclean outside the city gate.
For the hated tax-collectors.
For the very people who had nailed him to the cross…while He was hanging on it.
But I don’t believe all those commands were just handed down for the sake of commanding.
I believe He told us to do those things because they make us more. They expand our eyes to look beyond what we see. They expand our minds to think beyond ourselves. They expand our hearts to love beyond what we ever thought possible and free ourselves to experience it in a new way.
I don’t know about you, but I think becoming more of a person is worth the extra energy because, in the process, I’m becoming more like Him.
And He didn’t start this whole love ball rolling because we deserved it.
He started it because not a one of us did.
“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5:44 NLT
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.” Luke 23:34 NLT
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” Matthew 7:12 NIV
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 NLT
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 NLT
Wow, this preaches!! Excellent post!! One of your best!!