How To Treat Others-Luke 6:27-35

Luke 6:27-35 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 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. 35 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 sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”

Luca 6:27-35 27 «Ma a voi che ascoltate, io dico: amate i vostri nemici; fate del bene a quelli che vi odiano; 28 benedite quelli che vi maledicono, pregate per quelli che vi oltraggiano. 29 A chi ti percuote su una guancia, porgigli anche l’altra, e a chi ti toglie il mantello non impedire di prenderti anche la tunica. 30 Da’ a chiunque ti chiede, e a chi ti toglie il tuo, non glielo ridomandare. 31 E come volete che gli uomini facciano a voi, così fate a loro. 32 Se amate quelli che vi amano, quale grazia ne avete? Anche i peccatori amano quelli che li amano. 33 E se fate del bene a quelli che vi fanno del bene, quale grazia ne avete? Anche i peccatori fanno lo stesso. 34 E se prestate a quelli dai quali sperate di ricevere, quale grazia ne avete? Anchei peccatori prestano ai peccatori per riceverne altrettanto. 35 Ma amate i vostri nemici, fate del bene, prestate senza sperarne nulla, e il vostro premio sarà grande e sarete figli dell’Altissimo; poiché egli è buono verso gli ingrati e i malvagi.”

This portion of the Scripture encapsulates the various aspects of a person who loves God. A careful reading of this reminds us how difficult these verses can be at times. The expression, “I love the world. It’s people I can’t stand.” is somewhat humorous but it does speak of how the Father’s love is displayed to the world. These seven short and direct statements are really not open for debate. Read them as a concise command: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those that curse you, pray for people that mistreat you, don’t retaliate, freely give to others and treat others the way you want to be treated.

On this list, every one of us has failed on one, two or maybe all of them. Each one of us could also make an excuse for our behavior when we deal with hateful, unkind, uncaring or selfish people. But Jesus doesn’t give us room to make excuses. Don’t we also have rights? After all, God is also a God of justice. All of these arguments fall short in God’s kingdom but are the common responses of the world. However, believers are called to a higher standard as “sons of the Most High” (v. 35).

So how do Christians demonstrate these aspects of God’s love when we live in an unfair world? There are a few things we need to remember.

First, no one can handle these commands without the help and strength of the Lord. Our first reaction may be what has been modeled in the world…but we are not of this world (John 18:36)! Second, we are the salt and light that the world needs to see as a higher standard even when they reject it (Matthew 5:13-16). Third, we must have the wisdom of the Lord to know what to say and when. Jesus is not telling us that we should never have a response but know how to respond. When Paul was beaten unjustly as a Roman citizen, he confronted the magistrates who then apologized after they realized they had broken a Roman law. Because of Paul’s mistreatment, he did not press charges against them but used it as an open the door for the freedom of the Gospel to spread throughout the region (Acts 16:35-40). So trust the Lord that what you sow, you will reap. If you sow the love of God, you will reap His love in greater measure. Both Proverbs 25:21-22 and Romans 12:20 say “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. And the Lord will reward you.”  

Pray with me: Lord, I read these verses and have been reminded that I have fallen short at times in my treatment toward others. Help me to answer every unjust situation I face with Your divine love, power and wisdom.

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