In my notes from a Michael Card conference on Hesed (loving kindness, forgiveness, grace, mercy), The Scripture from Luke 6:35 is highlighted – it says “But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High.”
My notes are that of reciprocity but in a paying it forward kind of way. We were given this Hesed first. We were given the opportunity to be those children of God because God loved/loves even the sinners, gives love and does good. God does WANT love from us – and when we realize how good He is, we appreciate it. So we too are to do what is good, even to the bad – to our enemies -a hard pill to swallow sometimes and yet Jesus went to the cross for this. The ultimate sacrifice of good for bad, for forever-sake.
Jesus came to teach us all this in the fulfilment of the One who will cover our sins and missteps. To train us to be like Him. “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.”
David also wrote about being upright and doing what was good. David said one can despise a vile person – but we are to honor others – especially those who fear the Lord. Doing what is good, even to the bad. Jesus still says to love them. Tough love, huh? But David reminds: the person who lives upright will never be shaken.
In today’s world, it is often a murky scene of people – yet we can see clearly if we focus on the love and the forgiveness (no matter how hard) and study the ability to forgive over the sensationalism of sin. And remember Jesus’s REAL DEAL advice: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
We ain’t perfect – let us realize we HAVE the love and grace and Hesed from God and give it to others best we can.
Psalm 15 NIV – A psalm of David.
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
Jesus said: “But to you who are listening I say:
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.
If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you..
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”