Ponder A Little (Blog)
|Posted on March 23, 2019 at 9:45 AM|
What’s your knee-jerk reaction when someone hurts you with lies or gossip or ridicule? If you are human, it would be to retaliate. Fortunately, as believers we have the Holy Spirit, to help us overcome our human nature. It takes a great deal of humility and faith to trust God and not retaliate when we are under attack. When we are wounded, God tells us to trust Him to handle it, in His way and in His time. Not always easy!
But letting go is clearly the teaching of Christ. When is the last time you read the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters 5 to 7? This is not any typical sermon. And it was not preached in a church. It is simply Jesus teaching to a crowd of followers, on a hillside.
The sermon can be summed up as being a message of what it really means to follow Jesus. Simply put, it means to live a life of love and selflessness just like Jesus did. There are a lot of "hard to swallow" and hard to follow teachings about the exemplary conduct expected of Jesus’ followers. We are to live from a much higher standard than what the world teaches and expects. In fact, sometimes what is expected is completely opposite to the teaching of society.
For example, Jesus said to love and pray for our enemies. When is the last time you did that? It just doesn’t seem normal does it? And it isn’t for the unbeliever. But when we truly have the character of Jesus shining in our lives, it is very normal indeed.
In this sermon, Jesus addresses our common human frailties of pride, anger, worry, jealousy and greed. He challenges us to not blend in with the crowd, living for ourselves with no desire for godliness. Instead, we are to stand out as a follower of Jesus, reflecting His values and obeying His teaching. We are to turn the other cheek, give to those who ask and always forgive! This is all so contrary to our natural human tendencies.
But Jesus entered our world and showed us how to live. And He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us succeed. Matthew 5 to 7 are words well worth reading over and over again. Because once the words are embedded in our minds we will know each day and in each situation, “What Jesus Would Do”, so that we can do it too.
Categories: Questions About Spiritual Growth