“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also. If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles. If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don’t refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.’ But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:38-48
Jesus tells us that we should turn the other cheek, give us our coat, go the extra mile, and give what we are asked. We are to give more of what’s expected of us. To love everyone, including our enemies. How hard is that?!
None of us is perfect, but we can strive to be what God wants us to be. We can be like Jesus, filled with complete love. In the Common English Bible versions, verse 48 says “Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete.” The word complete I feel is a better word to strive for. Complete = having all parts or elements, lacking nothing, being whole. God’s love for us is complete and whole. And we should ask God to give us complete love, being filled with love and having no room for sin or hate.
Inspect your heart today and fill it with complete love. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, Paul gives us a great description of why we need love and what love is; if “I don’t have love, I’m nothing.”
Thank you Lord for showing us a different way to live, to have complete love in our minds and hearts. Help us to see the way you do. Amen.