Monday, January 3, 2000
"For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also so even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil."
This whole chapter is excellent, but I chose these verses because I think they sum up a lot of it. The challenge in our lives is to love and care for and be generous to the people that are different than us, the people that we *can't* really relate to... to learn to include "those" people in the group of people that we notice and think about every day. Make the stranger a friend... And this is not to say that we shouldn't love the people that we love now... I don't even think we know anything about love until we run into the differences of other people around us. And maybe the people close to us now were once strangers that we included in our circle... all of the people that we include now can stay, that is great... but I think what God is saying here (pretty presumptuous of me to interpret God, eh?) is that we can't stop. It is so easy to get to a comfort level and stay there. I don't really want to deal with any new people this week, or I have enough people to divide my time between, or whatever it is. But we need to step outside of our comfort zones sometimes and give of ourselves... not worrying about whether the relationship is "equal" or not... whether we are getting out of it what we put in, or any of that. Give, and give, and give. And the Lord will take care of you... as usual. :) Imagine if God expected something out of his relationship with us... psh. We'd be gone. He knows what little slimy weaklings we are sometimes, but he loves us anyway. (Slimy weaklings in a *good* way, of course... heh heh.)