Today’s Gospel reading is from Luke, part of the “Sermon on the Mount”, Luke 6:27 – 38 to be exact. In the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus us is teaching us how to be like him and I know for me, these lines are some of the hardest to follow.
“Love your enemies, be good to those who hate you”, really Jesus? You want me to be good to someone who doesn’t like me? You want me to pray for those who treat me badly? I have to turn the other cheek, I can’t slap them back?
We’ve all been there, someone ticks us off and we want to retaliate, like the old saying “Payback is a b****” this is first on our minds. But this isn’t the answer, never has been, never will be, for two reasons.
First, escalation is never the answer. No one ever wins.
Second, and the more important reason is, as Jesus tells us,
Instead, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. – Luke 6:35
I would rather have a great reward, being in Heaven for eternity, then the temporary reward I’ll get form returning anger with more anger. After all isn’t that the true purpose of life, to get to Heaven? For too many years I got it all wrong, wondering why we are here on this earth, when the answer has always been our goal is to get to Heaven. It isn’t about “dying with the most toys” but rather, dying with the most eternal rewards.
Think about that the next time you get angry.