No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

 

As will be seen, generously does not necessarily mean give away lots of money, it may mean spend your time, spend your love, spend your forgiveness, spend your refusal to take offense.

  “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ 44 I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer

Bring out the best in you.  You want to retaliate when crossed.  Instead reach down into the reserves given by the Holy Spirit and respond in kindness, gentleness, love, forbearance, agreeing with your adversary, refusing to take offense. 

for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.

Like that, my true self!! I am capable because God created me so.  I simply need to remember that!!!  It is God’s nature – I’m created in His image!! I can rain love and smiles on everyone, even the one that growls…I can give them my best and refuse to take offense.

  If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. 47 If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. 48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

Christians are to be different.  That is be different, not look different.  They are to act differently. That doesn’t mean a list of do’s and don’ts, it means we don’t react like expected.  Now this is difficult.  Baby cries when baby isn’t fed right now!!! Baby cries when you take the toy away!!! Baby stomps feet and screams when crossed!!!  And we never grow up.  As adults, take my parking place,  hmmmm…, or cut in front of me, hmmmm…., or talk to me in that tone of voice, hmmmm…. Christ said, ‘Grow up.’

Live generously does not always and only  mean give away your money; it means have large reserves of love, compassion, forgiveness, forbearance, so that you can return evil with good.  The next person who crosses you; smile, love them, agree with the adversary, be generous with your good-will–wishing them well — only possible if you have large reserves and that comes with the Holy Spirit’s rainwaters and love every morning for our day’s supply!  We must do the same each evening to enjoy the sweet peace and rest of our Lord.  Breath prayer – I will not take offense, I will react in an opposite way to that expected of me.  I will live generously toward others.

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