Of what reputation do we bring to the name of Christ when returning kindness for kindness?
Even sinners who know nothing of Christ do the VERY same thing.
"If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." (1 John 4)
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth!
When I think of how often I fail to trust in the Lord. How often I fail to acknowledge Him and the work He has done in my life. How often I fall short of His glory. And yet He never fails me. I Fail, I fail and then I fail again. Yet He's still there. SO full of forgiveness! SO full of patience! SO full of love!
We are called to show the very same UNconditional love that He shows us.
YES, there are people who make us want to tear our hair out! They drive us crazy! They are often hurtful with their words. They ignore us. They disappoint us. The list goes on...
"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, People may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, They may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway. "
So, WHY should should we love those, be kind to those, be patient with those who are difficult to love?
Well I think If the Lord can deal with us and love US, when we are constantly Selfish, Un-grateful, Prideful! We constantly forget HIM, who created the world, who saved us from our sins, who's hand is protecting us each and every day. If He would choose to still love us through all of that! If “while we were yet sinners, Christ would choose to die for us,” Then I think we can choose to love those who around us. And if we truly love the Lord, then we WILL love those around us!