"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." (Luke 6:32)
The question is not whether people are lovable, peaceable, kind, or gentle - but, am I? "But if you love those who love you . . ." We are not ever to be concerned with receiving fairness and justice, but we are to be fair and just always. Jesus is our standard, and He died for those who spit on Him and beat Him. That is the true measure of Christlikeness - we love and respect those who may never offer us the same grace in return; and we do so without partiality or prejudice of any kind. Help us, Father!
God's standards are higher than even the most noble man and woman among us, and they are impossible to reach without the Holy Spirit. Surely, we have all tried to do those things Jesus commanded in our own strength, and we failed miserably. Pray for those who hate us? Do good those who attack us with their words and actions? Honor those who dishonor us? No, many Christians are not even willing to do these things at all, and today's saints are more likely to be found fighting for their rights and villifying those with whom they disagree, rather than praying for them! May the Lord do a new thing in us and give us a heart for others that reflects His. Jesus is truly the only way, the only truth, and the only life, and we can never please the Father apart from Him. How we need the Holy Spirit! Amen.
Let's Pray - Lord, help us pass the test of loving others whether or not they love us. That is what you did, and we must do the same. Amen.