Read Luke 6:27-38.
Anyone who has ever worked at a job or participated in a family holiday dinner knows that some people are harder to love than others. There is always someone who gets under your skin. As I wrote this someone came to mind, as it probably did for you.
In today’s passage Jesus calls us to a higher standard. “Love your enemies” (Lk. 6:27a, HCSB), He said. Jesus calls His followers to love enemies, haters, and those who mistreat us. He wants us to wish those people well and desire God’s blessing for them. This makes love as Jesus describes it more than simply a feeling. It is a call to action as well. Jesus illustrates this in verses 32-36 in a series of rhetorical questions which illustrate the surface level of love from people who do not follow Him. Those folks love those who love them and lend only to those whom they know will repay the debt. Jesus calls His followers to a deeper standard.
That deeper standard includes not judging or condemning others. Contemporary culture loves this verse and wants to employ it as a “I don’t want to follow God’s standard” card. However, the God of the universe has a right to say what is right and what is wrong and communicate that standard to us in His word. If this is true (and it is), then it is the height of love for His followers to both live by that standard and communicate that to others in a loving manner. Jesus says that the measure that we use will be measured back toward us (Lk. 6:38).
Let’s make our standard and our measure for that person at work or at the dinner table one of love.