In listening to another person, most people talk, like when that person gets straight to the point. That is, beating around the bush or talking too much can leave you weary in your listening. We want the person to be clear and direct, so there is no misunderstanding. Let your words speak for themselves.
Jesus has a way of getting straight to the point about matters to living out one’s relationship with God. Jesus could be straightforward and get straight to the point. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is a great teacher. Nowhere is this truer than with the Sermon on the Mount. One such direct teaching is in Matthew 6: 25, where Jesus states, “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.” It doesn’t get more direct than this as followers of Jesus. When we said yes to Jesus, we are not only accepting his gift of salvation, but we are also saying yes to a way of living. Being saved is the easy part; living out that salvation can be challenging.
Three words: love your enemies. Yikes. Think about your enemies. While we may not label individuals as enemies, people do come to mind that we don’t like or get along with. It is impossible to live in our world and not find ourselves living in tension with others. This tension can quickly turn into hate of another person. Jesus calls us to reverse that course and instead respond in love. Love is not merely an emotional feeling towards another person, but rather love is an active response. Love is not only something you say but something you do.
With this scripture, at least, Jesus says, “do good” and “lend, expecting nothing in return.” You might say, “do good and give.” When we think about those individuals in our lives that we don’t always get along with, what would it look like if we did good and gave ourselves to them? Such behavior could be transformative in our relationships as well as in our society. Indeed, loving others, even our enemies, as Jesus commands us, can be a powerful force in our world. As Christians, Jesus didn’t offer this as a suggestion. Instead, Jesus gave us a command. Following Jesus requires a different way of living. A form of living that over and over again defined as love. Jesus said, “they will know you are my disciples by your love.” (John 13:35)
It is easy to live in a world whereby we hate our enemies and love our friends. Jesus said paraphrasing, “anyone can do that.” (Matthew 6:34) Jesus calls us to a better way. Jesus got straight to the point when he said love your enemies. Now, we have to get straight to the point of living it out in our lives.