Today's Lectionary Text
But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Reading this passage encompasses one of the hard parts of being not only a big C Christian but also a follower of Jesus.
It's easy to love our neighbor who we agree with, who looks like us and we genuinely like. But we are called to love, bless, pray for those who stand against us, want to hurt us or have hurt us, and the good old 'Do unto others as you would have them do to you'.
It's not treat others as they have treated you, but to aspire to higher things.
How would your daily interactions change if everyone you knew or met treated you like they themselves wanted to be treated?
What would you need to change in your life to start treating everyone, friend or perceived foe as you would like to be treated?
Why not try it out? For a day, a week, or maybe through Lent try this mindset out and let us know how it goes. We'd love to hear your stories!
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