27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
He is Kind to the ungrateful.
Am I kind to the ungrateful? Or do I mostly love those that love me back? Do I extend mercy to others, the same mercy that God extends to me? When I think of the mercy he has shown me, wow. He is a kind, kind Father.
This week’s passage challenged me, and I spent time taking inventory of my relationships (especially the tough ones), and what they would look like if my kindness matched our Father’s.
The world says “fake it till you make it”…I have a friend that says Faith It Till You Feel It. What a great approach to showing kindness to those that can’t repay it, blessing those that say bad things about us, or praying for those that mistreat us. We can take that step in faith to show love and kindness, and ask God to change our hearts, the situation, all of it. C.S. Lewis says it this way in his book, Mere Christianity: Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
A lot of relationships are complex and need help, healing, and boundaries. A small act of kindness can be a place to start. It won’t fix everything, but it just might align our hearts to be more like the Lord’s.