“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” - Matthew 5:46-48

Are We Better Than They?

I love what C.S. Lewis said about loving your enemies. He says, “Do not waste your time bothering with whether you love your neighbor.  Act as if you did.”  As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets – when we are behaving as if we love someone, we will presently come to love them.”  In other words, this kind of love has nothing to do with feelings, has nothing to do with ‘liking.’ It has everything to do with ‘action.’ Then, amazingly, our feelings begin to be about love.

But even more – Jesus wants the Christian life to be distinct. He wants us to be different from the world.  He goes on to say, “So if you only love those who love you, how are you different from anybody else?”  If you’re reading this and you are a conservative Christian and only love those who are conservative Christians like you, how are you different from anybody else on earth? If you are a liberal Christian and you despise conservative Christians, how are you different from anybody else? There’s nothing distinct in your life when you only love who you consider to be lovable!

Hey, the Mafia loves their families!  They are loyal to their friends!  If we just love our family and friends that are part of our little world that we live in, we are not “getting it” as followers of Christ.  We are to be distinct.  We are to be radically different in our approach to those who do not think like we do, who do not live like we do, who sometimes bring great harm to us and great harm to society as a whole.  Jesus wants us to be radically different because when we are, it’s amazing how God can use our lives to get the attention of those who are hostile to us and to the faith.

Radical Christian Living – radically changes the world.