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Jesus on how we should treat others

October 13, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Luke 6:27-36

27 “But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. 31 Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.

32 “If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full. 35 Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people. 36 Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.

 

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Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus taught his followers how to live with his peace and joy. Yet he realized that not all would be willing to accept what he taught: “I say to you who are willing to hear.” The types of behavior Jesus described are not natural to any of us. We only move toward Jesus’ kind of open, fear-free life as we allow the Holy Spirit to reshape our natural impulses to grow the fruit of kindness in our lives. (cf. also Matthew 5:44-45)

  • Jesus gave specific examples, not to set up new, onerous rules for us, but to show in practice the spirit in which he called us to live. As The Message put Luke 6:30, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” * When has someone touched your life for the better by living kindly and generously? When have you found the joy of extending kindness to someone else?
  • Luke linked the Golden Rule (“Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you”—verse 31) to Jesus’ words about how to treat enemies. In what relationships do you find it hardest for you to treat others as you’d wish them to treat you? How can Jesus’ teaching help you discern how to live out the Golden Rule in ways that bless others while you maintain healthy boundaries and self-care?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, pray for those who mistreat me? Love my enemies? You did it, but you were—well, you. I’m willing to listen to your teaching, and to learn your ways. Amen.

GPS Insights

 Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

I was recently the recipient of what I would consider to be extraordinary kindness. A couple of weeks ago I shared my story of my car breaking down 5 hours from here on my way back to my hometown. It was Labor Day weekend, and all of the auto shops were closed. That’s where my hometown neighbor, Bud, stepped in. Bud and his wife moved to my parent’s neighborhood within the last 8 years or so. I’ve probably only met Bud a dozen times. I know him, but it’s not like we’re particularly close.

Bud happens to teach auto mechanics at the local high school. When he found out about my car woes, he talked his wife into pushing back their lake trip by half a day so that he could take a look at it. He tried a couple of repairs, but unfortunately the car needed a new engine. Knowing I’d be without a car, Bud let me use his truck for the weekend. He then offered to tow my car on a trailer all the way to Kansas City. That’s a six hour drive each way! For me? Someone he hardly knows?! I found a different solution, but I’m still in shock that he would even offer to do that!

Maybe you’re like Bud – the kind of person that wouldn’t hesitate to make such an offer. That’s awesome if you are. I’ll admit, I’m not. I was blown away that he would have even considered it. Such an offer would not have ever crossed my mind. And this wasn’t the first time Bud’s offered to help. He’s let me use his truck in the past. He’s come over to help with some electrical work. He’s helped find someone to mow my parent’s yard. He’s just someone who loves to be kind to others.

If I were to be honest, I’m a little intimidated by his kindness. It seems to come so naturally to him, and it’s beyond what I’d expect. If there was a kindness meter, Bud’s reading would be off the charts. That can feel defeating, as in, “If this is what kindness looks like, I don’t know that I’m capable of reaching it.” I’m hoping I’ll live up to those standards one day, but it’s a lofty goal for me.

Jesus calls us to kindness. We’re to treat others as we’d want to be treated. We’re told to love not only those who love us, but to love our enemies as well. It’s a very lofty goal. Again, a bit defeating. But transformation rarely works like a light switch. It’s not all or nothing. Transformation happens over time. If we want to be extraordinarily kind, we start with steps of kindness. We ask Jesus to open our eyes and our hearts to share kindness, and we begin demonstrating it. We encourage, we help, we give, we stand up for others. The more we live into this pattern, the more natural it becomes. This is the art of transformation. We seek God’s help and we live into kindness one act at a time.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* From Eugene H. Peterson, The Message. NavPress, 1993-2002.