Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Thought for Tuesday 6/18/13

“Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High.  For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”  Luke 6:35-36

Jesus defines “neighbor” when He tells the parable of the Good Samaritan, but we don’t get much of a definition of exactly who our “enemies” are. Ask that question in general, and we will likely get a political answer in general: illegal immigrants, terrorists, Democrats, Republican, “big oil”, “big pharmaceutical”, etc.  And we come to these answers because too frequently our politicians, in shamelessly pandering for votes and favor from constituents, will tell us who is “out to get us” – just as it has so often been said, If you want people to follow you, find a common enemy to blame.

In this particular context, an “enemy” could be defined as the one who has borrowed something and fails to return it, perhaps never intending to.  Money, books, a lawnmower, you name it.  The “enemy” could well be the one who never intended to return what was borrowed (thus being willing to take advantage of a generous heart), or took what was offered and failed to acknowledge the generosity.  Of course when we lend anything we do so with the reasonable expectation that what we lend will be returned to us.  There is nothing wrong with this especially when we are asked, “May I borrow ____?”

The problem comes to be when we allow our relationship with that person or persons to be strictly defined by what was borrowed, and the nature of that relationship becomes conditional upon whether or not we get back what we loaned out.  The failure is in understanding that even the Most High is “kind to the unthankful and the evil”; so, too, must we be “kind” even as we can clearly see that the “unthankful” who take and the “evil” who do less-than-good are subject to the Lord’s mercy – just as you and I are subject to and completely dependent upon that same divine mercy.

The trick is not allowing our humanness to be defined by our “stuff” lest we come to discover that our perceived self-worth is directly attached to the “things” we only think we own – when those things we “paid good money for” soon come to own us.  When these “things” come to define us; when these “things” become more important to us than Messiah and His words.

Let the Lord settle the account – as He most certainly will – and let us learn to let go of “stuff”.  We can’t take it with us anyway.



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