Last week, I saw this message written on a chalkboard in my chiropractor’s office: “If you show kindness to someone and expect something in return, that’s called ‘conducting business.’ True love has no expectations of repayment.”
That is a great summarization of Jesus’ teaching on love in Matthew 5, as he tells his listeners that we should love our enemies as well as our neighbors. He further explains this statement in verse 46: “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?”
What Jesus meant is that even many unsaved people follow the Golden Rule, expecting that their kindness will, in turn, earn them kindness from others, and from God. True love from God, though, is demonstrated in how we treat those who are not loving in return. This is exactly how Jesus Christ showed His love to us, “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Is the love that you show to others dependent upon their treatment of you, or are you letting the unfettered love of God reach through you to love the “unlovable” people in your life?