Not being a doormat – Love iii

So we’ve dealt with love on a personal way, we’ve looked at how love effects justice, but what about those who we find difficult, or those who hurt us in some way?  What are we to do about them?

The traditional understanding was, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”.  In other words whatever someone does to you, you should, and can, do back to them.

But, Jesus says, but…

…that is not the way of God, it is not the way of love.  Jesus comes to turn things on their head, to shake up our understanding of right and wrong, to change our perceptions of what things are really about.

So, he says:

don’t try to get even with someone who has done something to you;

if someone slaps you, let them slap you again;

if someone takes your shirt, see if they want your coat too;

if you’re forced to carry a pack one mile, be ready to take it two;

if someone wants to borrow something, lend it.

 

We might see all these things as being a bit of a doormat – not so, says Jesus, it’s being a person who loves and goes on loving.

If someone is doing these things, what is going on in their lives to make them like that?  Do they need the same treatment back – or do they need to see the way of love?  What would benefit them more, a slap – or being shown a different way to go about things.

Anyone can love those who love them, and it is very easy to hate those who we would count as our enemies.  But that is not what Jesus is asking of his people.  He’s looking for a different way of life.  God treats everyone the same.  Good or bad, the sun shines on them and the rain rains on them. All are welcome to his love.

And we are called to act like God – our Father, who loves us – and loves them.

Very easy to write – but so much more difficult to do…

 

Lord

you love us,

and you call us to love others.

You don’t want us to respond

with knee-jerk reactions –

at least not our own.

You need us to love

that others may experience love

– your love.

You know how hard that is for me to do.

So please Lord,

give me your reactions,

your love.

~ by pamjw on February 17, 2011.

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