Our actions have either a positive impact on others…a negative impact on others….or are mute, meaning they make no difference to others. The big question is: what kind of impact do you want to have on others….in God’s economy…if that matters to you? God cares very deeply how we treat others.
Others may mistreat you. They may talk about you. Joke about you behind your back or to your face. They may use you or abuse you. Take advantage of you. Steal from you… a.k.a. stealing your reputation.
But if you are a Christ follower…a lover of Jesus…and you profess it with you mouth and on social media (just saying)….then His holy expectation is that you would LIVE IT in your actions. I am not at all suggesting that you become a doormat for another’s cruelty….or that you keep coming back for more threats, jokes, slander or verbal abuse….but…the difference between a Jesus lover and follower and one who is not is…….this….
Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” It continues to say in verses 46 and 47, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the pagans do that?” It continues to say in verse 48, “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Boom! As I was studying these verses recently…because I needed to!!!!…I was asking God to help me turn the other cheek but feeling as if my “neck was stiff”. Turning the other cheek had become difficult for me. While studying these verses I could hear my dad’s voice when I was a girl saying, “Speak to people even if they don’t speak to you.” And, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!” And, “Pray”.
In essence my dad was telling me to live the above verses. I have to confess….I want eternal rewards and if you read this verse closely ….God says, “What reward is it when you love the people that love you?” Also, it tells us Jesus is the example. It says our “vision is Jesus’ perfection”. This side of heaven “perfection” is not in us but we can’t use that as a COP OUT either. We are commanded to strive for Christ-likeness and HE WAS PERFECT.
If we are very honest with ourselves, I am betting anyone reading this would like to say, “All my actions have a POSITIVE impact on people–family, friends, enemies, and strangers……” I know I would love to be able to say this! The one sure fire way that this can become more of a reality is to seek to be more like Jesus…to study His life…to seek to mimic…and to ask Him to “massage your neck” if it becomes stiff toward the actions of others.
To seek to live Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Our good deeds are to bring glory to the Father….to REFLECT HIS POWER in our lives. I don’t know about you…but in my own human flesh and sin nature…I am weak and cannot possibly love others that hurt me or my family.
But when I allow God, the Holy Spirit, to engulf me…my heart… and my mind…that, in turn, leads to ACTIONS…..that HE can dictate in a “surrendered life to HIM”. Then and only then can HIS LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT for others to see. His Power is made perfect in our weakness.
I encourage you with this….it is easy to love the lovable. Anyone can do that. If you want to see the power of a HOLY God in your life, the supernatural, ASK HIM to enable you to live with passion and enthusiasm the truth of Matthew 5:44. Not only will you store up treasure in heaven….God will use you to lead others into heaven….a gift in which there is NO PRICE tag!:)