The Risks of Kindness

Shocking words: “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.” (Luke 6:35).  It’s not good enough to just lend to friends and people who are low risk.  For “even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount” (v.34).  These statements at first seem irresponsible and reckless.  Wouldn’t we become impoverished if we threw money around like that?Reading the entire paragraph, I don’t believe Jesus is urging general carelessness with money.  He has been teaching people that we need to have a heart for those in need – even enemies and ungrateful men (v.35).  God is kind to all men and we have a responsibility to do the same, thus becoming “sons of the Most High.”  We need to be prudent with our resources and not be wasteful.  But at the same time we must accept the fact that kindness involves some risks.

Jesus expects us no to be cold and unmerciful towards people.  The footnote to verse 35 says, “do not despair to all.”  In other words, don’t worry about it if someone does not repay what you’ve lent them.  We’re not to chase people down for repayment.  Some will work hard to repay us, but we don’t know if they will be able to.  God will make sure “your reward will be great.”  He will look after you.  He’s pleased that you care for others and that you are willing to risk sometimes, just like He does.  He doesn’t expect us to sell the farm, but He expects us to care for people.  “Be merciful, just as you Father is merciful.” (v.36).

-Tim Johnson