The Other Cheek

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. – Jesus

This love- the kind of love that allowed Jesus to meekly receive beating and insults, was the same love that allowed him to choose 12 unfit men to be his disciples. He chose them, even knowing how they would fail him.

He did this because his mission was about adopting unworthy beggars into his family. That means you and that means me. It was always about his goodness and love and never about our deserving anything…

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:16-17)

What is so disturbing to me about the current atmosphere in our culture is that the way many Christians are acting only propagates more anger, hurt and hostility.
Not only is there no love for “enemies,” there is also no love for brothers.

What’s interesting to consider about those words from 1 Peter is that it’s very likely that Peter was writing them while Nero was ramping up his persecution of Christians in Rome. Peter, who is believed to have been killed for his faith by Nero.

As followers of Jesus, we are not called to make others agree with us or treat us well, but we are called to treat others (everyone) with honor and love. We are not called to make sure we’re being heard or treated fairly, but we are called to respond in the same manner and have the same mind as Jesus. Jesus, who took on the form of a servant, allowed himself to be misunderstood and mistreated and then willingly died a horrible death.

The kingdom of God does not come when we demand it, it comes as we lay down our lives both for each other and for those who violently disagree with us.

So while there are currently many wars going on in our culture, we are invited by Jesus to stop shouting and start caring for the wounded – regardless of their political or religious opinions.

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