by Pastor Mark Jordan
“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.” (Luke 6:34-35, MSG)
Today’s passage comes in the section of Luke that chronicles some of Jesus’ teaching found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The words we read here are challenging, because Jesus said simply that being loving and kind to those who are loving and kind to you is no different from those in the world who are the worst of the worst. Learning to be like God means to live generously and graciously — and take note here of what Jesus said next — “even when we’re at our worst.” That really resonates with me, especially as I look at times when I am at my best and my worst, even on the same day.
God gives you grace and mercy, even when you are at your worst. Jesus taught you to do the same. There is no reward in only being nice to those who are nice to you. Being generous and gracious — yes, even when it is hard — can have a transforming effect, both for you and someone else with whom you might be in conflict, flooding the world with godly kindness. God does this for you. Can you?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me generously and graciously, even when I’m at my worst. Forgive me for the times I don’t extend the same blessings to others that I expect in return. Help me, by the power of your Spirit, to be generous and gracious like you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.