Through the years, one of the reasons I loved walking through the door of our home was because our dog Gracee was always there to greet me. Whether I went home for lunch or went home for the evening, she was thrilled to see me. She often brought a toy along for the tail-wagging greeting in case I was in the mood for a few minutes of play.
Interestingly, her feelings toward me were not based on my recent accomplishments, my standing in the community, or the strength of my credit rating. She just liked me because I liked her. Forgive me if I’m taking this too far, but isn’t that an honorable approach.
As Christians, we are instructed to love those who love us, but it doesn’t stop there. We are even instructed to love those who hate us. Listen to this Bible passage and see if it challenges you like it does me.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48, ESV