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.
Written by: Chris Moss
And there he (or she) is again. You know the one: the guy you can’t stand, the woman you know is fake, or the relative who rubs you the wrong way.
Suddenly all of your negative emotions start to swirl in your gut. Everyone has an unworthy spoon who stirs up all the reasons you need Jesus, just like a spoon stirs up sediment in the bottom of a glass. These unworthy ones stir up the dregs and swirl them around your life. The dregs look disgusting and make you miserable. Go ahead, take a drink!
Then these spoons walk away, leaving you upset about yourself.
The Bible calls these people our “enemies” and we are commanded to love them and to do good to them. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I want to shake my own spoon at God and say “Really? You want me to do what?”
Sometimes, you have to start with the third command in that trifecta: “Lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” I think this translates to “reduce your expectations.”
When you have to face an unworthy spoon, a person who requires extra grace, or an “enemy,” and you expect them to act like a normal person, they will fail. You will be disappointed. You will be miserable.
If you expect less, they might deliver. With reduced expectations, you won’t be disappointed. It reduces your own misery. If they happen to, on some rare occasion, exceed your expectations, you are blessed!
If you start by reducing your expectations with anyone who stirs you up, it makes loving them and doing good toward them less of a stretch.
Thought of the day: God promises us a great reward for pushing through in awkward relationships. Are you ready to reduce your expectations and get the blessing?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask for Your grace and mercy as I try to reduce my expectations of the “ungrateful and the wicked.” They are the unworthy spoons in my life. These people stir up all of the reasons I need more of Jesus! I know there are dregs in the bottom of my glass You want to stir up so the Holy Spirit can deal kindly with me. Because really, I can be the ungrateful and the wicked. Thank You, Lord, for dealing kindly with me. In Jesus’ name, amen.