actions vs. reactions.
Jesus' sermon on the mount lays out for the believer the core values of God's Kingdom.
Jesus not only calls His disciples and all who would take up the call to follow Him towards Godly "actions" but Godly "reactions".
He essentially says to the people of His day, "All that you have been taught up to this point is good, but incomplete." A heart transformed by God's love is capable of much more than simply acting Godly.
Eye for an eye.
38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for your enemy.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I've found in my own personal life that Godly actions-deeds I initiate and have some sort of control over walking out, are SO much easier to regulate and keep holy than my reactions towards others actions.
Why does it seem so much easier to act in compassion than it is to react with that same virtue?
Jesus was training His followers to not just act empowered by the Spirit of God but to react by that same power.
The Kingdom lifestyle God is looking to form in us is not just limited to our actions but encompasses our reactions as well.
May you access the grace of God in your reactions to others this week!
Tomorrow's text: Matthew 13:1-23:39