But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:35-36 HCSB
“But I don’t want to go.” My son slunk down in the recliner, arm crossed, frowning.
“You’ll go, and you’ll act right.” My husband didn’t let up. “Because do you know who you are representing when you are there?”
Our son sighed and said, “You.”
Indeed. Everywhere my children go, they represent their father. Their behavior reflects on him. And because my husband is a decent, upright guy, he expects his children to act the same. He wants them to act the way he does.
God expects nothing less of me, his daughter. In fact, in this verse He tells me exactly the godly qualities he wants me to copy.
He tells me he wants me to love my enemies, because that’s what he did. Remember Jesus on the cross? Remember these words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If He can forgive those who are torturing Him to literal death, He expects me, His daughter, to forgive those who have slighted or insulted me.
He expects me to lend, expecting nothing in return. Since I’ve been back in the States, this one isn’t such a big deal. No one but my kids has come to me for money. But as an American living in a Third World country? Wow, this was almost an every-day issue, and being asked for money got very old very quickly. We were, of course, discerning in who we helped, but there was more than one time I wished this particular verse was just not in the Bible. But it is. And God expects his daughter to obey it.
God also wants me, his daughter, to be gracious to the ungrateful and evil, because He is. Have you ever had to deal with a truly ungrateful person? I have. When I have gone out of my way to help someone, and get no response or even a negative response, that just pushes the cheese right off my cracker. But God is gracious to those kinds of folks every day. Can you see me, slinking down in my recliner? If I am to truly reflect my Father, I will treat those people with grace – unmerited favor.
And, God wants me, his daughter, to be merciful, for no other reason than the fact that He is merciful. When my own daughter comes to me in tears, confessing a sin to me, I give her mercy instead of a stern lecture. That’s easy, because I adore her. But God also expects me to be merciful to people I don’t like, the annoying people, the ungrateful people, the evil people.
And if I do all these things? My “reward will be great, and I will be a daughter of the Most High.”
This verse seems to indicate that these things are what make me God’s daughter, because they are the outward signs of my inward change.