What if you did something bad, something that in your mind made you an enemy of God. How would you want God to respond to you in that moment? Love your enemies.
What if you caused hurt or pain to another person, maybe by your actions or possibly just by your words. How would you want to be treated when your shortcomings were brought to light? Turn and offer the other cheek. Pray for those who mistreat you and speak ill of you.
What if someone sincerely apologized to you for an old grievance but you were still full of anger and hurt. How would you react to the apology? Forgive and you will be forgiven.
What if someone in need came to you begging for help and you refused. How would you feel when someone said no to you in your hour of need? Give without expecting repayment.
We don’t like to be around judgmental, mean spirited, vengeful people. Yet we ourselves are judgmental. We can be mean spirited. We can be vengeful.
What makes us think others would want to be around us when we act this way? Jesus is calling us to choose another way. It is a difficult way.
Jesus’ teachings are unique. There are no other teachings like his. That’s why scripture scholars believe these teachings come right from the lips of Jesus. No gospel writer would have made up these teachings. They are just too difficult.
They are so radically different that when we hear them we are hearing the authentic voice of Jesus.
Jesus is calling us to be merciful. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.
Jesus is calling us to be forgiving. Be merciful. Stop judging. Forgive. And you will not be condemned.
Jesus is calling us to be loving. Do to others as you would have them to do to you.
Jesus is calling us to be giving. Give to everyone who takes from you and do not expect repayment. Give and gifts will be given to you.
For the standard you use to measure will be the standard used to measure you.