Jesus told us that when we lend things to people, we are not to ask for them back (Luke 6:30). Why is this? Perhaps because it shows that we love and value people more than material possessions! Yet how many people value things in the reverse order, putting possessions and self gain before others?
As Christians we are called to live a different life, a life in which we love God, first and foremost, and love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:35-40) but what does that mean?
- Well, the love we are to have for God should be with all of our heart, mind, strength and soul (Mark 12:28-31). This complete type of love requires faith, and our faith is accounted to us as righteousness (Galatians 3:6-9; 13-14).
- We are told to love others as ourselves, and to treat others as we would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12). This shows that we should love others and ourselves, as we are all God’s children, thanks to His gracious mercy. How do we love others as we love ourselves? well, if we’re hungry, we feed ourselves, if we’re thirsty, we get a drink, if we need clothes, we get them etc. We are to do the same for others. Jesus said, whatever we do for the least of people, we do for Him (Matthew 25:31-46), to not give help where it is needed, would be akin to not helping Him.
The love walk we should be learning from Jesus, requires us to be different (Romans 12:2) so that others may see our light (Matthew 5:16). One example of loving others is from the example given at the start of this post. To be loving enough to let people know that they are more precious to you than material items
Jesus asked, what does it gain a man if he profits the whole world but looses his soul, Matthew 16:25-27. How could he lose his soul? It seems that it could be by failing to obey God’s commandments to love, after all, when Jesus was asked for the way to eternal life, it was loving God then your neighbours as yourself that He said were necessary to live (Luke 10:25-28). Bear in mind, that Jesus included your enemies when He told you to love them (Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5: 43-48).
In this world with its many material snares, it’s easy to get caught up in the treadmill of worldly ambitions and consumerism. Unfortunately, man all too often finds himself placing too high a value on temporary material goals, while neglecting the eternal spiritual matters.
While our fleshy body may cry out “no, it’s mine!”, Jesus is calling us to love and serve others. Paul follows up on this when he instructs us to walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16-25), this would enable our lives to be a living demonstration of God’s love here on earth.
Jesus commanded us to love from our hearts to such a degree that it becomes externally evident with concrete actions. Not asking for items you have lent out to be returned, is but one way of demonstrating that love.