“But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you. “If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full. Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people. Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.” (Luke 6:27-38, CEB)
This passage and concept is the one thing that keeps many from joining a church or following after Jesus because the “followers” of Jesus they see are not doing this.
Just like a meme I recently saw and shared, it was a picture of Jesus saying “Love your enemies” at the top, and at the bottom, it said, “While I punish those who hate me eternally.”
We need to love people as they are where they are and not expect them to change before they come to worship. We are changed by being in the presence of God and being changed doesn’t mean everyone will be like us, because if we are truly present and open we will also be changed.
We need to love everyone as God has loved each of us.
Love out Loud.
Loving People. Loving God.