Sunday, April 10, 2016

Luke 6:29-31

Luke 6:29-31
To the one who strikes you upon the jaw, offer also the other one.  And to the one who lifts up your cloak, do not also refuse your tunic.  Give to all who ask of you.  And from the one who lifts up your things, do not demand their return.  And just as you all desire – in order that mankind should do it to you – do to them similarly.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

This is one of the more difficult teachings of Jesus to put into practice.  Jesus tells us to offer the other side of our face when someone strikes one side.  Jesus tells us to not demand for our things back when they are taken from us.  In other words, Jesus is telling us that we should consider other people before standing up for ourselves.  That is why this is such a difficult teaching to which we can adhere.  We want to stand up for ourselves.  When someone treats us poorly, we want revenge.  I’ve even heard respectable Christian teachers advocating a position of hitting someone who hits you!  This teaching of Jesus is completely contrary to our human nature.

Do you ever want to get revenge?  How do you avoid thinking about yourself and instead think about the other person even when you are in a position of righteously desiring to get revenge?

Second Thought:

Jesus continues to tell us to think of the other person.  He tells us to give to those who ask.  This passage is really about our attachment to our things.  Are we willing to part with something in this world knowing that God has prepared all that we need?  Are we willing to let go of that which we’ve received or worked hard just because someone else wants it?

What is most important to you – the things of this world or the treasure that God has stored up for you?  How can this help us be in a position of giving to others?  How does this help us live a life focused on the other instead of the self?

Third Thought:

Finally, we hear a famous passage.  It often gets quoted as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  While this is certainly true and fitting within what Jesus says, I truthfully think Jesus’ words are more forceful.  Jesus tells us to treat people as we would want to be treated in order that they do treat us that way.  Jesus isn’t just talking about some wishful thinking with respect to our actions.  Jesus is telling us that there is an absolute cause and effect relationship here.  When we treat people a certain way, we impact how they treat us.  We don’t just treat others as we’d like to be treated.  We treat others with grace and love because they will be more gracious and loving in return.

Granted, for some people “more gracious and loving” still isn’t very nice.

How do you treat other people?  What influences how you treat them?  Why do you treat people the way that you do?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 6:32-36
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