When was the last time you did something just to be a blessing? You didn't want a trophy in return, or even a thank you card. The Spirit moved you to say something, give something or do something for no other reason than to care for someone. Do you remember that time?
If you do, it was probably something done for a friend or loved one, right? You took a meal to a sick friend. You did one of your husband's chores so he would have more free time after work. You volunteered for that project at church so many hands could make light work.
It's easy to be kind and helpful to those who love us in return, but the Lord says that's not enough.
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that sketch of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36
What a challenge! Jesus Christ Himself said that, though it would be difficult and painful, we are to freely give everything we have and all that we are - even to those who will never say "thank you" and may never return the favor.
But these 10 verses of Scripture tell us that we are still called to:
Be good freely
Move on freely
Be merciful freely
And these were simply His instructions on how to treat our enemies, how to control ourselves and how to be a blessing when no blessing was expected - or possibly wanted.
Christ has now placed it in our hearts to be generous in all we say and do, being kind and expecting nothing in return. Instead, we are to do good in all ways, even to those who use us and are ungrateful. It's a difficult proposition, but Christ is our great example.
Can you find it in your heart this week to be "more excellent, more loving than what the sinners would do," as Matthew Henry once wrote? It won't be easy, but with God's help, we can change the word one kindness at a time.