38“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’39But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.40If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.41If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.42Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
43“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.44But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!45In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.46If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.47If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48But you are to be dperfect, even as your Father in heaven is dperfect.
Now lets live this one! Listen to what Jesus is saying! We are to be kind and generous and loving…period! It was a great revelation to me when I realized I was called to judge my own actions by an entirely different standard. It is natural for us to look at how we acted in a situation and say, “I certainly handled that better than_____.” Or maybe: “Yes, I got mad, but I didn’t say anything nearly as cruel as she did.” Or, “Everybody does it.” And finally: “I’m not letting them walk all over me.” By nature we compare our actions to the actions of the other people around us and we try to be better than they are.
But that is not the standard. I am only to compare my actions the actions of Jesus. Jesus could have called down legions of angels, but quietly was whipped, and beaten, and lied about, and finally murdered on a cross. Do I ever have an excuse to be mean, or harsh, or angry? Looking good compared to my enemy is completely worthless. How I am treated is complete irrelevant to how I must treat others.
Lord, help me to always bear the fruits of Your Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, and completely ignore how others treat me. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*