“27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.” NRSV
Jesus’ words here come from the section of Luke’s gospel known as the Sermon on the Plain (6:17-49). It is Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.
Here, Jesus sets before us the way to live a life of faith, the Jesus way. It is the way one lives as a dweller in the Kingdom of God. Clearly, it is a striking contrast to the ways of the world.
However, this is not just about being nice or going the extra mile. This is all about power. The acts Jesus describes, when they become a way of life, strips everyone around us of their power over us. Jesus prescribes actions that neutralize and disarm the weapons of enemies, haters, bullies and thieves – things like fear, intimidation, retaliation, and valuing possessions over people. L
The Jesus way of love, compassion, understanding, charity, and kindness redefine power, from “power over” to “empowerment” (promoting the self-actualization or influence of others) and shifts its balance toward those who follow the Jesus way.
This is the pathway to being all that God created us to be (our own self-actualization). It is where one finds the true joy and blessing of faith.
Be a blessing to someone today!