If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Matthew 5:46-47 (NIV).
It is very proper and seemly that goodly feeling should stir goodly feeling in return; that to those who are friendly to us we should be friendly also. It is not unnatural that it should do so.
There are common practices that are common to all. There are ideologies like:
… Because he helps me, I will help him…
… Because he feeds me, I will feed him…
… Because he is nice to me, I will be nice to him
The list can continue. It is a general relationship philosophy to be good to those who are good to you. If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. Luke 6:32 (MSG). Therefore, it will be inappropriate to expect a reward that does not fit your input or practice. If you are only good to those who are good to you, then, you cannot be rewarded with the reward for those who show love to the unlovable.
Different practices, different rewards
Normal way; Normal reward.
When you relate kindness to people based on the way they do to you, you will definitely be limited in terms of your reward. In the same way, you will receive your reward. You will have the same kind of people giving you a remuneration. You cannot practically share an experience that is beyond your lifestyle – No! …For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38 (AMP)
The Lord’s way; The Lord’s reward
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Rom 12:14, 17 (NLT). The Lord’s pattern of operation and expectation is far different from the pattern of men. It is, therefore, important, to do it His way if we want to get His reward. God is well pleased when we repay good for evil. It may be very unwelcoming in the society where we are but that is what God wants from us.
Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Rom 12:20(NLT) An ordinary man will obviously repay evil for evil. That was the level Joseph’s brothers were at. They never knew that Joseph has passed that level. He was ready to do good and even go beyond for them. The Lord’s way was a practice that Joseph embraced and cultivated in His lifestyle. He never paid Potiphar’s wife back for the atrocities she leveled against him. That is the Lord’s way.
Goodness is a virtue
Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. Rom 12:21 (CEV). You strengthen your enemies when you use evil to respond to their evil against you. The best way to conquer their evil is to do well to them (Rom 12:19). There your strength lies. Learn from your father. Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong Matt 5:45 (CEV).
You cannot learn this virtue from a man like you. Joseph could not learn much from his brethren. It was so obvious by their attitude, thinking that he would punish them for the evil done to him. Instead, he proved to them that he never learned such practice.
Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua Philippians 2:5 (CJB).
I will no longer do it the same way anymore. My heart represents Christ. I shall do it in God’s way. Jesus helps me. Amen