BIBLE THOUGHT: “DO TO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU” (LUKE 6:31, NASB)
READ LUKE 6:27-36 for a better application of this lesson.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE sounds like something Jesus might have taught. But the term doesn’t appear in scripture. It comes to us from the discipline of psychology and implies acceptance and affection toward others.
That’s not a bad thing. But Jesus points us beyond attitude and emotion, calling us to an act of the will, loving our enemies in a way that is like God, Himself, who is “kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.”
Examples? Doing good to the hateful, blessing those who curse you, praying for those who abuse you. Don’t hit back, don’t withhold anything from those who take without asking, lend to those who ask without expecting anything back. Difficult? True, it’s not that easy being like God, behaving like Jesus did, is it?
Over the years, I have grown up. I have changed. I have evolved. However, those who have not taken the time to know me now, may use my past poor and immature behavior against me to this day. It can be hard to get through, especially if the individual is unforgiving. Whenever I see something on social media or hear that someone has been talking poorly behind my back, I just want to lash out show them a piece of my mind (that’s the Bajan in me haha). But, the bible teaches in Matthew 5:44, “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Man, that is hard.
Imagine being Jesus… he had so many haters and people that simply hated him for the simple fact that he was our Savior. Many thought that he was full of himself and just didn’t believe in what He had to say. Others wanted to bring him down to see how far they could take him. In the same way, your foes may mistreat you and will want to bring you down, just to bring you down.
On the contrary, maybe you’re the one who is hating. Stop that. Take a look at yourself and reflect on why you think you’re acting negatively. Keep a journal to vent and it will help you deal with real life a little better.
His kind of unconditional love is an act, doing something good for someone who may not have been good to us, expecting nothing in return.
Most of us haven’t quite achieved this level of perfection. Let’s begin (again) thinking about how we can bless those who have no intention of blessing us. The result? We will bear His image. We will be His children. We are one step closer to inheriting the Kingdom of God.
Sing “The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases”
Prayer: Dear Father, you have loved me when I was unlovable, given freely to me when I was selfish, let Your Son die for us when we were in sin. Thank you. Please give me Your spirit of mercy and help me extend it even to those who ignore me or hurt me.
– STEVEN S LEMLEY, Co-editor
This lesson is pulled from POWER, a daily devotional magazine.