“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 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.
Let’s not kid ourselves, of all of Jesus’ teachings, this might just be the hardest one to grab hold of; it is the poster child of counter-intuitive!
I used to say that I will be loving and forgiving when someone wrongs me, just as soon as I have retaliated massively. Of course I had my tongue inserted in cheek when I said it… mostly. Ues, this is a tough one.
It really comes together in the last verse:
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
How do we treat those who are rude, who are impolite or even hostile towards us? Mo, how do we really treat them? For most of us, there is still work to be done, for I don’t know about you, but I fall a little short on this one from time to time.
I think that this all boils down to an attitude; how to I see myself in relation to others? Am I important, am I a big shot, am I what everything is all about? Or am I a humble servant of all, a servant of God whose ego isn’t all that important when compared to my calling?
I don’t know about you, but I do quite a bit better when my thinking runs along these lines.
Jesus has more to say on this, so maybe we all should take a moment or two to ponder these things in our hearts, and then we will continue the discussion next time.