“But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35).
Love and kindness come easily for those who are loving and kind to us. We enjoy time we spend with those who love us and who are kind to us. We get together with them and eat and give presents and receive presents. We recognize that such people in our lives help make life worth living.
Can you imagine attempting to share such gifts with those who hate you? What happened if you gave gifts to ungrateful people? What if you did good to others and were repaid with evil? What happens if you lend someone money and they never repay?
According to human logic, we would at best have nothing to do with such persons, and at worst do them harm (cf. Matthew 5:43). It is expected that lovable people are loved and unlovable people are shunned. It is expected that those who are ungrateful get little and those who do not repay have no credit.
Yet, in the Kingdom of God, all of these things are turned on their head. Jesus turns the world upside down! He prayed for those who reviled Him and crucified Him (Luke 23:34). He prayed for His disciple whom He knew would deny Him (Luke 22:31-32).
As it is written,
For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life; and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (Romans 5:6-11).
While it is always easier to point fingers at everyone else, we must recognize that we, too, have spent our time in unkindness and ungratefulness (Titus 3:3-8). God has showed kindness to us when we were unthankful and evil. He showed us mercy despite our unmerciful attitudes. He was not yet willing to condemn us even though we were willing to condemn others. He provided wonderful gifts even though we forsook Him.
Therefore, it ought to be but a little thing for us to show divine kindness: love and help not just those who love us and help us, but also to those who make us uncomfortable, those who might use and abuse us, and those who may hate us. After all, without God showing us such divine kindness, where would be be?
Ethan R. Longhenry