“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)
This is a difficult assignment. This is demanding task. What’s that? You are asking me to love my enemies. You are asking me to pray for everyone who mistreats me. You want me to do good to those who hate me. You are telling me to bless those who curse me. You are saying that if someone strikes me on the one cheek then I should turn to them and let them strike me on the other cheek. You want me to give to others without expecting anything in return. You want me to do to others what I wish they would do for me. Do I have all this right? Am I hearing you correctly and properly understanding all that you are asking of me? Yes, you are understanding me correctly. Can you say any more about what you are asking of me?
Have I done what I am asking of you? Am I asking anything of you that I was unwilling to do? Do you think I am asking of you what I haven’t already done? Haven’t I set before you an example to follow? Haven’t you said that you want to become like me. Haven’t you said that you want to love like I loved. Didn’t I hear you say that you wanted to give like I gave and serve like I served? Isn’t it your hope that you will think, say and do what I thought, said and did? Yes, all that you are saying is true. In every way, I want to become like you. Well then, you can and will follow my example. Yes, I will. That will be very good.
You are right about one thing. What’s that? You cannot live the life that I am calling you to live. You cannot love like I loved, give like I gave or serve like I served with your own effort and strength. Your own efforts will result in failure. What then can I do? You can ask that I live my life in and through you. You can rely on me completely. You can allow my Spirit to work in and through your life. You can ask for my power and strength to make you able to live the life that I have called you to live. Will you allow me to make you able to love like I loved, give like I gave and serve like I served? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, the idea that you want to display your loving mercy through me to my enemies is a difficult assignment. In the past, my worst desire has been to take revenge and get even. Not now, not ever again. Use me as your witness in the world. Amen
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