Thursday, January 17, 2008

SOnTheM 19

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Matthew 5:38-41

"Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" was basically the law in the old days. This wasn't a vengeful type of law. Rather, that is how the punishment was dealt by the judge when one man wronged another man. Basically, "the punishment shall fit the crime." Makes sense, doesn't it? Doesn't that satisfy the sense of fairness we all believe the world should run by? Yes it does, except that the world is not fair. If it were, Christ would not have been crucified for my sins and yours, and we could not have a relationship with the Father. Aren't you glad life isn't fair?
Instead of "The Law of Retribution," which is what scholars call fairness, Jesus states that we should operate under the Law of Grace.
Here's something my friend Steven Furtick refers to as the Two Cookie Principle:
If I have two cookies, and you and I are hanging out, I have a couple options. 1) I could be a jerk and eat both of my cookies, or 2) I could be nice and give you one of my cookies. The world says that option 2 is the right choice. Of course, I should share what I have with those who don't have anything. That way, everyone will know I am a good person, I'll get an award from someone for being a great philanthropist (people who give money to do good things instead of getting their hands dirty to do good things themselves), and everyone is happy.
Here's a third option--Jesus' option--Furtick's option: I give both cookies to you. I don't hold anything back. The grace and love of Jesus Christ abound in me so much that I give everything I have to those who not. Generosity is the key here.

Today, may you give away what you have. May Christ begin to develop a generous spirit in you so that He may be seen through your generosity. Go ahead. I dare you. Try to give yourself into poverty. Try to outgive God (I know that's cheesy, but it's true).

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