Receive Credit This Valentine's Day!
This Valentine’s Day, countless greeting cards, chocolates, flowers, and other tokens will be purchased for those we love. When we walk through the shopping malls, it seems that “love is all around.”
Now what did Jesus have to say on the topic of love? Well, as you know, His words are as radical today as they were 2,000 years ago:
“…love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” - Luke 6:27
This standard of love is so much greater than anything the world offers. It reminds me of a conversation I had a number of years ago with someone, which typifies the way so many people think. It went like this: “I’m really a good person; I’m good to my friends and those who treat me well. But if you don’t treat me well, watch out!” Well, according to the Bible, that’s no big deal. Jesus put it this way:
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” - Luke 6:32
I looked up the word used here for credit in the Greek; it’s “charis,” where we get our words charity, charisma, charismatic, etc. Charis is often translated as the word “grace,” meaning, in this case, special favor, or a gift. In a parallel passage, Matthew 5:45, the word Jesus used is “reward.” When we put it all together, Jesus is really saying that simply loving those who love us back is merely natural, and is not noteworthy behavior. I like the way that the modern English version called “The Message” translates Luke 6:32: “If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back?”
So, remember, this Valentine’s Day, and every day, live the kind of life that makes a difference. Love the unlovable, and rise above the norm. Now that deserves credit!
God bless, and Happy Valentine’s Day.
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