Fresh Hope – Day 124

Loving people that love you back is pretty easy, in fact, loving people that love you first and at all times, is even easier.

Loving people that respect you is also easy, and so is loving people that do things for you out of gratitude for what you’ve done for them.

The real crunch comes when we start to enlarge the circle of our love for people that don’t love us back, and don’t ever do things in return for what we may do for them.

I’m sure that we’ve all had conversations that revolve around buying Christmas or Birthday presents for people that don’t ever buy us anything. We then have to decide as to whether we are going to treat them the same and cut them out of our generosity…

Maybe you’ve invited people round to your house for a meal and fully expected an invitation back to their place in the coming months. That invitation never came and inevitably, you end up inviting them to you again or risk ditching the relationship altogether.

When you think about it, much of our lives are lived from the premise of, ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’, or if not, at least a superficial love that says, ‘I’ll treat you right, if you treat me right.’ We have to admit it’s a fairly low form of living…

Now, I certainly haven’t got this one right by any stretch of the imagination, but I have attempted daily to live at a higher level and that is to ‘treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.’

That statement comes directly from the mouth of Jesus…

Luke 6:27-36 ‘But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. 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. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 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. 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. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’

Now that’s what I call a challenge, but I do know that when you live that way, you open up your world to a brand new group of people that would never have been loved, if you hadn’t have adopted the higher way of living.

Take the higher ground today and make someone’s day, and in return… you’ll make your day, too!

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.