Saturday, July 15, 2006

Modern legalisms:

You have heard it said “Jesus doesn’t want you to be a door mat.” But I say that we should be doormats that say ‘Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven.’

The best version of this idea, that Christians shouldn’t let themselves get taken advantage of, would be to say ‘Christians shouldn’t be too naïve and let themselves be abused. That would be bad stewardship of God’s resources.’ The worst version would be to say ‘let’s not get too extreme! Jesus couldn’t have possibly meant that because it would be way too difficult to live that way.’ More difficult than giving up your home in heaven, living life as a suffering servant, and then getting nailed to a cross?


Erin said...

This is similar to yesterday's message in "My Utmost for his Highest" (the July 14th message), about suffering afflictions and going the extra mile. I'll post the first paragraph here because I think it's so good:

"This verse (Matt. 5:39) reveals the humiliation of being a Christian. In the natural realm, if a person does not hit back, it is because he is a coward. But in the spiritual realm, it is the very evidence of the Son of God in him if he does not hit back. When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it,but you must make it an opportunity to exhibit the Son of Godin your life. And you cannot imitate the nature of Jesus - it is either in you or it is not. A personal insult becomes an opportunity for a saint to reveal the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus."

Pretty amazing concept!

p.s. I love you :)

Ben said...

Wow...that's really the amazing part. The idea that not only must we put up with insults or suffering, we shouldn't even resent it. We shouldn't want to hit back, refrain, and then feel holy for refraining. We should not even want to hit back.

And THAT, my friends, is clearly impossible without divine intervention.

Jeff said...

According to my rabbi, Israel has a lot of problems with accidents caused by road rage, so the government put up a bunch of signs saying "don't be just, be wise."

Justice, of course, would be hitting back. [The cost of] an eye for an eye, right? However, wisdom would be not escalating the conflict; the world becomes a better place when the peacemakers prevail. The genius of this teaching is that the desire to make peace in the long run ought to trump our instinctual desire for some sort of temporary justice, and thus we should not want to hit back out of love for the world...