Wednesday, June 3, 2015

love in reverse

It is natural to love the people who love you and to like people that are like you, but when it comes to people hurting, slapping or taking advantage of you, we think the right thing to do is take revenge in our own hands.

But that is not what God tells us to do.  We are to react to people in a different way that will help them see what the love of God is all about.  Our actions will open a door for people to see and experience God.  Maybe you’ve seen someone react differently and have been shocked by his or her radical grace.

Love in reverse is radical grace.  It is the unexpected.  It is loving the unlovable.  It is going the second mile or giving to someone who we think doesn’t deserve it.  God is calling us as his kids to offer people what God has offered us.  He has given us second chances.  He has given us forgiveness and grace.  He has given us the ability to really live when life is tough.

What do you think love in reverse looks like?

You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.  If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.  If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.  But I say, love your enemies!  Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.

How is God leading you to love in reverse?  Who is it that needs to see radical grace lived out in front of them?  May God help us live as true children of God loving in reverse.

UPDATE:  there are several reasons why I copied this devotion for you to read once again.  One of those is that this still speaks to me and about my desire to share God’s love with others.  Also, there are so many people in the news and even around our lives that need to know God’s love.  They don’t need our judgment or even our opinions.  We must speak truth, but speak it in love.  Love is intended to redeem people and not to make them run away.  Experience and share radical grace which is love in reverse.

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