But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,…pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:27–28
This must be the most difficult of all Jesus’ teachings. Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek. Be merciful to the wicked. Why? The text says that we will be rewarded. But what is the reward for letting people walk all over you? What could be worth that indignity and injustice? We have serious questions and grave misgivings about this line of teaching! And yet, what if the reward is a world where people give better than they get? What if the reward is a peace born out of unbridled generosity? What if the reward is being called children of God, who respond to the trials and triumphs of life as the Lord would? What if the reward for godly living was to become divine ourselves? Would that be compensation enough?
Whom do you need to love, pray for, and give to?
Lord, I don’t like this lesson. It is too demanding. It is more than I can bear. But what if that is the cost of a different kind of world where love, peace, and mercy abound? I do not know if I have the courage to allow it to start with me, but it really did start with You. You forgave those who nailed You to the cross, and You loved those who denied and abandoned You. You have even offered eternal life to those of us who spend most of our time forgetting about You. You have led, let me follow. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.