You know, when you're all, "oh snap I have to eat those lentil balls they look fabulous" and at the same time you just sauteed a bunch of vegetables (zucchini, bell pepper, green cabbage), and you want kale salad and you want some of that fantastic coleslaw? This size of a meal appears before you. You stare because you cannot do anything else. You are so glad this lasts forever. You try to eat slowly but cannot gain any control over the speed of the fork to food to mouth. You ask for this to happen tomorrow. You thank Google for recipes. You lick your plate clean. (gross.)
Lentil balls - used lentils instead of chickpeas
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. (Luke 6:35 NKJV)
It's one of those, "much easier said than done" type of commandments. I could pick someone in my life as said, "enemy" and when I ponder the idea of loving them -unconditionally, no matter what- it seems pretty simple. Until I am standing in their presence, and they do something to remind me of the very reason I struggle to want to constantly give them hugs, smooches, and invitations to my house for dinner.
This is where I give myself up fully to God. "Love them, Lord, for me" asking His Spirit to fill me with compassion for them, so much so that it pours out of my heart genuinely. So that they would see Christ in me, they would feel how much they are worth in their Creator's eyes. That they would catch a glimpse of a love more profound than what this world has -wrongfully- taught us, "to love those who do good to you, be kind to those who are kind" complex, beautiful love that goes far beyond this idea to:
Love your least favorite people
Love those who hurt you
Love those who mock you
Love all who persecute you, who hate you, who disrespect you.
I like the reminder that we are to expect, "nothing in return" for loving our enemies and doing good. We all enjoy immediate rewarding, but what if we waited for it every time we are kind to our enemy, every time we lend a helping hand, every time we bite our tongue instead of saying something hurtful? We would be really disappointed by the let down that there is no flashing neon sign with our face on it, saying, "Great Job!" Our name doesn't immediately go on a plaque that hangs in a museum for all the world to see. We aren't called to appear on a well-known and enjoyed talk show to boast about our good deeds. Expect nothing in return, BUT...
Your reward will be great. You will be son of the Most High. For God is good to all - even us, when we are at our worse. So we need to be like Him: love all (even the hardest to love) and we will be blessed, even if it's not until we meet Christ face-to-face in Heaven. Our rewards will be GREAT!
Lord, help me to love even those who don't love back. That You may be honored, and they might know You as their Savior one day.