Matthew 5:38-48 ~ The words of Jesus; pretty radical stuff here!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
We are taught to “FIGHT BACK” and inflict pain when hurt by others. “You hurt me, now I am going to hurt you.” Some folks you lay awake at night thinking of ways to inflict pain on those who have hurt them!
Someone in your world absolutely despises you; the mention of his or her name causes you great angst! You will run scenarios in your mind of how that person could be taken down a notch.
Jesus does not operate that way, and those who would follow in His steps, are commanded to operate like He did! Let it go! Stop hating! Stop gossiping about those you dislike!
Instead of tearing down, build up! Be an advocate for those that God has created, especially those who hate you! If you only talk nice about those who love you, what is that!
How about sticking up for those who hate you! Those that despise you! The next time someone starts a rant on a person you don’t care too much for, instead of jumping on the trash so and so wagon, shut it down!
Our grandson came home from school one day and told his parents that a kid in school was picking on him. He said the boy threatened to “kill him” as young boys are prone to say sometimes. Our grandson said to the boy, you can’t kill me, cause you’re going to be my best friend!” Today, about three years later, they are best buddies!
Be like our grandson and say something kind; come to their defense! To do less is to indicate that you despise them too!
You have now become as they are; the only difference is that you have cloaked your “meanness” in religious sounding words, while they are simply telling the truth about how they feel!
So. . . . do you love your neighbor as yourself? Why not?