Gosh did I need the message from the service at church this Sunday! God had been saying the same thing over and over to me throughout last week, but I truly felt slapped during the Sunday service. Safe to say, I’ve heard you now Jesus!
This particular passage, which was read, has been ringing in my mind since Sunday :
“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”
Luke 6 27-34 (MSG translation)
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.”
Having a different reaction when we are offended. Emotional Reactive behaviour is generally accepted in the world when someone offends you. It is completely understandable, when someone offends you, (according to the world’s standard) to ‘go off on one’, argue, hate, hold grudges, not forgive and the list goes on and on.
But we who belong to God have been called to a different response to offence, and this is where the battle begins. Is it easy to allow yourself to be embarrassed when you can easily ‘tell the offender about themselves’? Is it easy to love and show love to the person who doesn’t love you? Is it easy to forgive someone who isn’t sorry? Is it easy to pray for and look with good eyes towards people who speak bad of you? Of course not! But this is the life we have been called to and the power to do so exists in each of us who have entered into this life of surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Literally right in the middle of Pastor’s preaching, the words ‘Grow up Marilyn!’ came right into my mind. You are no longer a babe! Did you think maturing in your faith and relationship with God would keep you at the same stage you started at? It’s time to pick up that cross and mature! GROW UP!
I can tell you, I will certainly be meditating on this the whole week, watching my actions and taking steps to ensure my forgiveness is true. Forgiveness is a mindset, a choice…..it is not a feeling.