Seen on a Church Sign
Lettuce Be Kind- Let us be kind
Love Your Enemies
Luke 6: 27-38
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Being kind is the difference. The difference in what? Well, it’s the difference between faith in action and faith that is non existent or perhaps just dead. It should be a a clearly observable between one who says he or she follows Jesus Christ and others around him or her. It should be. As we see clearly taught in the passage above, we are to love even those who hate and despise us in a way that is different. We are to be kind to them, not retaliate against them.
This is just a side note regarding some word usage in the above passage. The word used for love above is agape, not phileo. I think that is a very important thing to consider as we move onward here. Agape, of course is the all encompassing type of love that God has for us. It is a love that acts regardless of feelings or the actions of another. Phileo, on the other hand, is the type of care we have for a friend who we feel a close personal relationship with. We are to possess love that acts, regardless of our feeling towards a person. We don’t have to be their friend, but we do have to love them.
I hope we all agree from the start, that we are supposed to be different. There are things that should definitively set believers apart from the rest of the world, and this is one of them.
It is how people know we believe
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
If we don’t, we might NOT believe
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
It is among the fruits of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
We can do it because we are not the old man; we are new creations
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This is not the way of the world is it? What does the world say?
Tit for tat
You scratch my back, and I will scratch yours.
Morality is based on empathy and reciprocation!
Do onto others BEFORE they do onto you!
As long as I get mine!
Now, what does our Lord Jesus have to say? He had some things to say about this subject for sure.
Luke 6:32-24 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Jesus clearly teaches that everybody loves the ones who do for them. If I only scratch the back that scratches mine, I am no better than the rest of the world. If I look to “get”the other person before they “get” me, I am no better than the rest of the world. If I only behave morally for in the hopes others will behave that way toward me, I am no better than the rest of the world.
What, then is our expectation? Jesus covered that as well.
Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Turn the other cheek. Love your enemy. Be kind to your enemy. Go out of your way to be kind to your enemy. If we don’t, then who are we really?