Love can be a funny thing. For so long we dream about finding that right person and falling madly in love, only to realize that love looks nothing like the way our society portrays it. We find out that love doesn’t just happen. Love takes time, effort and, sometimes, a lot of energy — and that is just for the people we actually like! As believers, we are called to love others — not just those that we like, but even those that we don’t like or that don’t like us.
“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.”
— Luke 6:32–36
This passage is a tough pill to swallow. Jesus wants me to love my enemies and expect nothing in return? If I am going to love them, at the very least I want some love back. It’s only fair, right? Loving everyone isn’t going to be easy, but Jesus tells us that the reward will be great when we are merciful as he is merciful.
The challenge to love everyone is something that we can all strive for. Remember that love doesn’t just happen. It will take time, but the rewards will be great. The credit goes to David Griffin for this challenge to finish off your week, but I will also challenge you to maybe think of someone who you have considered an “enemy” to be a blessing to this week.
Come up with one other believer that you can bless this week and love them through one of the following: your resources (gift card, meet a known financial need, buy a lunch, etc.); your words (text, encouraging hand-written note, etc.); your service (mow their grass, invite them over for a meal, etc.). Be creative and leave God some room to work! I hope this resonates with your spirit and I look forward to hearing your stories in the weeks ahead!