Friday, December 18, 2015

Loving Your Enemy for the Sake of God



Scripture:

Matt. 25:29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

Observation:

This verse comes at the culmination of the parable on the talents. The one who had the most took those talents and was able to make incredible use of them, bringing back twice the amount in return. On the other end of the spectrum was the individual who was afraid of what might be asked of him and so he just buried his talent in the ground, protecting it but not using it for the Master’s purposes.

In the season of Advent this parable suggests that we are to be engaged in active waiting. This active waiting means that we look at the opportunities which are afforded us and the ways in which we may engage. We are to make the most of the creative opportunities we encounter and not hold back, but use the gifts of God adventurously. If we do not use the gifts that God has given us, we will forfeit them.

The good that we possess is the nature of God, his holy love. His talents flow through us, his children and his love is that which we are to use adventurously. Gregory the Great tells us, “True love is to love your friend in God and your enemy for the sake of God. Whoever does not have this loses every good that he possesses.” (Forty Gospel Homilies)

Application:

When talents take on the character of God we begin to see them differently. I know that I have often thought of them in terms of money and being good stewards of God’s resources. While that may be true maybe we need to also see God’s resources as being the overflow of his nature in and through us.

As we experience God’s overflowing and abundant love which he gifts us through his grace we must imagine what it would mean to share that love for his sake. God is generous with us and expects us to be generous with others. There is far too much rhetoric about fear these days and not about love. Fear results in burying our talents; taking God’s love and keeping it all for ourselves. Jesus referred to this as being “wicked.”

Enemies are not easy to love, but the things in life that are of the greatest worth are not easy. Adventurously following the opportunities provided by God may be some of the hardest work we will ever do in life, but it will also reap the greatest rewards. These are not material rewards, but they are eternal rewards. Therefore we are to radically love our enemy for the sake of God. He has lavished his love (talents) on us and we are to go and do the same.

The faithful servant loves radically in the time of active waiting (Advent). We are never to protectively guard that which God has provided for us, but we are to lavishly give it away. Remember, “perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18)

Prayer:

Lord,  please help me to spread your love today and every day. Amen.

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