September 27, 2016

Psalms -109 - 110 -  
Liars are pouring out invective on me;...I loved them, and now they slander me--yes, me!--and treat my prayer like a crime.  They return my good with evil, they return my love with hate...

Since he loved cursing me so much, let curses rain down; since he had no taste for blessing, let blessings flee far from him.  He dressed up in curses like a fine suit of clothes;  he drank curses, he took his baths in curses, so give him a gift--the costume of curses;  he can wear curses everyday of the week....

Help me, oh help me, God, my God, save me through your wonderful love.  Then they’ll know that your hand is in this, that you, God, have been at work...The King Maker put his King on the throne; the True King rules with head held high.              

Matthew 5:21- 5:48 - 
Do not murder.  I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.  

Carelessly call a brother “idiot” and you just might find your self hauled to court.  Thoughtlessly yell stupid! at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire.  The simple moral fact is that words kill.  

This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters.  If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against u, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend & make things right...Make the first move; make things right with him.  

You know the next law pretty well too;  Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.  But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed.  Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body.  Those leering looks you think nobody notice--they are also corrupt...You can’t use legal cover to make a moral failure...

And don’t say anything you don’t mean.  This counsel is embedded deep in our tradition.  You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, “I’ll pray for you,” and never do it, or saying, “God be with you” and not meaning it.  

You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace.  In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.  JUST SAY “YES” AND “NO.”  When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.
  
Here is another old saying that deserves a second look:  Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.”  Is that going to get us anywhere?  Here is what I propose:  Don’t hit back at all!  If someone strikes you, stand there and take it.  If someone drags you into court and sues the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it.  And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.  NO MORE TIT FOR TAT STUFF!  LIVE GENEROUSLY!!! 

I’m telling your 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, for then you are working out your true selves, your God- created selves.  

In a word what I am 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.”