Friday, January 8, 2010

How would you respond?

I talked with my sister this week about an incident she had with someone in her neighborhood whom in the past has proven to be less than a stellar person. She later blogged about it HERE. We had been discussing my theme for the year and hers as well. As it turns out I ended up having a bunch of random dreams last night and one of them was about a person from my past whom hurt me very much, and in my dream was asking for forgiveness. I woke up confused and full of emotions. It was a hurtful situation and I was given amble opportunity to defend or retaliate and instead I kept my mouth shut and only prayed for this person and wished them the best. This happened a while ago so it was weird to me that I had a dream about this person last night as they have not entered my consciousness in a long time. After waking up I immediately was reminded on this passage in the Bible and wanted to share.

"38-42Here's another old saying that deserves a second look: 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.' Is that going to get us anywhere? Here's what I propose: 'Don't hit back at all.' If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to 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 then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."

-Matthew 5:38-48 (The Message version)

With all of the wars and fighting going on in this world, any little bit we (yes you included) can do to lessen it will make that much of a difference in years to come. How do you respond to those you term your enemy?

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