February 20, 2008

Rising above the crowd

Luke 6:32-36
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

I find it so easy to pat myself on the back. Like the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not like the tax collectors and sinners, I look at evil people and notice with pride that I am not doing some of their evil acts.

But this is not what I am called to. This passage from Luke reveals that many of the things I think are good deeds are in fact normal courses of action for human beings—loving my friends, loaning money to those I know will pay it back, doing something special for someone who regularly does nice things to me—none of these things rises above the run-of-the-mill actions common to humanity. We are called to love those who hate us, to do good to those who "despitefully use us," and to loan to people with bad credit. These are the things that will make us as Christians stand out from the crowd.


  1. This is by far one of the hardest commands of the Bible for me to do. It runs contrary to our human nature and to society. It can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit, but I can attest that He has helped me to accomplish this when I desperately needed help, and I am sure will need it in the future. Peggy

  2. This is hard as a parent, since we must be consistant in showing our love to all others. Walking the walk and not just talking it.


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