Luke 6:35 – 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 unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Conditions: everyone and everything seems to have them. Every seemingly good deal raises curiosity and suspicion that there must be some conditional aspects. Every business deal has a contract. Every employment offer has stipulations. Every organization has ethical standards. While these measures make sense in certain contexts, we must suspend our “worldly wisdom” perspectives when it comes to understanding righteousness. In Luke 6:27-38, Jesus makes seven observations about unconditional love. This is love with no strings attached, no contracts, no stipulations, no provisos or quid pro quo. This love is not natural to us, yet Jesus presents unconditional love as the proof of true righteousness. Jesus presents unconditional love as the proof of true righteousness.
Unconditional love is characterized by:
- Loving your enemies – 6:27
- Doing good to those who hate you – 6:27
- Blessing them that curse you – 6:28
- Praying for those who mistreat you – 6:28
- Refusing to retaliate – 6:29
- Giving freely – 6:29-30
- Treating others as you desire to be treated – 6:31
Loving only those who love you is not praiseworthy because it is a natural condition to place on a relationship (6:32-34). Loving the unlovely requires the supernatural intervention of God’s grace. Thus, unconditional love is the hallmark of righteousness. In practice, kindness to the unthankful, love to the unfriendly, and mercy to the undeserving is a reflection of your Father’s goodness.
In what situations is God challenging you to reflect his goodness to the undeserving others?
This challenge comes with a stern warning in the passage. Luke 6:36-38 reminds the readers of God’s law of sowing and reaping. If you judge others, you’ll be rewarded with judgment. If you condemn others then others will likewise condemn you. If you offer forgiveness, you will receive pardon as well. If you give, you will be blessed to receive from others. The inescapable fact is that your attitudes and actions reflect your character, and the attitude and actions you give will be what you receive in return.
What are you giving to others: unconditional love and true righteousness or judgmental attitudes and unforgiving entitlement? Take a hard look in the mirror today to see what type of person is reflected. Whatever you’re giving out is what’s going to come back. Above all, God wants to see himself reflected in your life. Ask him for the supernatural grace to empower you to love unconditionally.