Another example demonstrates the inadequacy of doing good to those who treat us well. Imagine blessing someone after being cursed! We need golden hearts from God to overcome ill feelings in times like these. Let us ask for God’s help.
In Verse 34, are we to expect return of the amount loaned with or without interest? “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good and lend hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great ...” This passage goes on to say that God is kind to the unthankful and to evil people. We are to be merciful just as He is to everybody (Luke 6:35-36). These direct quotations of Jesus Christ admonish us to shun the practice of reciprocity and to love others in an unconditional manner.
Believers are not to be motivated for reward in the practice of giving love towards others. In reality, we are to love because God commands it. He promises a reward to those who follow His commands. As God’s children, the unconditional love of God flows through us. Luke’s identification with Jesus and with the Father is what leads to real life and to its fulfillment.
How should we as Christians interact and exist with each other? Many people feel that survival of the fittest is the basis of life. There is always the tendency to love friends and hate enemies. We can [sometimes] look at our lifestyles and focus on issues and changes that need to be made without hurting others to get things done. Worldly tactics, most times, do not please God. How can an attitude of goodwill best be expressed? Jesus epitomized Godly character by showing this unconditional love in the context of insults and slanderous statements that He endured. Whatever the problems, Jesus insists that believers respond with unconditional love.
In summary, Jesus commands this kind of love because this is what God expects from us. How can we as children of God reflect His characteristics? We are most like Him when we love all people just as He does. Love is much higher than liking each other in every aspect of what one does or does not do. Lovelessness accounts for human dislikes and disagreements. We must work toward a goal of not feeling personally attacked by spiritually weak human beings. The practice of love may mean to commit ourselves to the welfare of others by intentionally having their goodwill at heart. Jesus taught His followers to love their enemies, to do good to those who hated them and to do to others as they wished to have been treated. In these verses we learn of Jesus’ unconditional love for all followers and He expects no less from us!
Mrs. Gladys McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.