(Red-letter portions of the New Testament)

Matthew 5:46 (Luke 6:32)- "If you love those who love you, what reward (credit) will you get? Even tax-collectors (sinners) do that (love those who love them)."

Self-commendation is vain and can cause tendonitis in the shoulder from patting ourselves on the back. Jesus says that lovin' your own is no mark of great spirituality. God is not impressed by someone, who is just "pro his own."

As our society continues to splinter into factions and special interests, and believers become increasingly marginalized and pushed into the corners of a secular culture, the need for a special breed of people is magnified. Jesus wants us to be that breed.

Instead of giving into the temptation to just take care of our business and our families, ignoring strangers, vilifying our detractors and critics, and teaching our children to cheer "our" team and boo "our" opponent, Jesus models something better.

Even in Jesus' day there was division and bigotry between ethnic, political, economic classes, and religious groups. However, Jesus called His followers to love everyone: competing groups, personal adversaries, those from other ethnic groups, classes, political groups and religious beliefs.

Let's not be satisfied, when we love our families and friends. Let's not commend ourselves for only doing that. Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For while we were sinners, enemies, Jesus died for us. He wasn't just pro His own.

"For God so loved the whole world, that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16

That's commendable.

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