When we face confrontations we have an instinctive response. Some of us fight, while some of us flee. By nature, I flee. Things get sticky and I roll out (that’s Southern for say goodbye…or just disappear!). Now though, I am a fighter (for the right cause), thanks to the last several years of opportunities.
In Luke 6:27-36 Jesus gives one of the most counter-cultural challenges to His body. It is the greatest crash test for born again believers.
Do good to those who hate you
Bless those who curse you,
Pray for those who mistreat you
Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also
Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either
Give to everyone who asks of you
Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
Love your enemies
Lend, expecting nothing in return
Is your head spinning yet? Mine still is… God is the greatest leader of all because He does not tell us to do anything He has not completed with perfection and victory.
Look at that list again, but not through your eyes. Review the list above with the perspective of an enduring love. Believe God for the Word’s sake on this one…if you just can’t (or won’t) believe that you (and I) can love on this level.
Father, before we draw back…demand justice…sue…take action…keep a record or tally of what “they” owe us…become like the one(s) who hate(s) us… LET US ACT AND RESPOND IN LOVE. Be great in us, Father, and let your love be without restraint or blockage in our lives.
Love can take it — enemies, evil attacks, hits on the cheek, bad treatment, curses, being vulnerable without coat or shirt, liberal giving, theft without demand for restitution, lending without expectation. YOUR LOVE IN US IS RESILIENT...bring us up to this kind of love. Transform our hearts and renew our minds in the process….in Jesus’ name. Amen.