Last night in the men’s group I often write about we had a nice lively discussion about this part of the most awesome Sermon on the Mount.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matt 5:38-42 NIV
The leader of the discussion, focused on verse 42, and how we deal with street beggars. A couple of us challenged him to not just use that tried and true thought, but to go bigger in this verse. To go to a place where the Christ says, if you are attacked, hit, written about, ordered about, asked to give, etc, that you will not only oblige that but that you will willingly not seek revenge and do more than asked.
I have not been able to get this off my mind. After thinking about this overnight, I realized that when we give our selves to the Christ, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ we give to the street beggar, it becomes a natural reaction and standard. We are called to be different, to not seek our own, to not seek revenge, to not even the score, but to change the score – in favor of others. And I think that is the heart of this challenging bit of teaching.
It sort of reminds me of the song Follow Me by Leeland
Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
‘Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was she’d
So how could I not give it away so freely?
Change the score and give it away today, freely.