As a Sunday school teacher, I enjoyed telling Bible stories like David and Goliath in hopes that the children would learn about God’s provision and love for them. I assumed that would be the lesson that they would learn from biblical accounts like that. Now, I am not so sure that was the lesson that was learned.
Take the story of David and Goliath for example. When I compare it to posts that I’ve seen on social media from people I know claim to be Christian, I get the feeling that the takeaway from David’s defeat of Goliath is that we are to cast stones at those who oppose us.
This morning I read a post on Facebook from someone who is a Christian. It did have a good message to it. It was meant to be a message of equality and acceptance but it had one condition. Humanly speaking, the one condition is very fair. The post stated, “I don’t care who you are, what you look like or how you choose to live your life, if you are good to me, I will be good to you.” What does that mean for those that are not good to me? What does it mean to be good to me?
If they kneel during the National Anthem are they not being good to me? If they paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street in front of my house are they being good to me or not?Many would say they are not being good. A few of us say it is a cry for help. What does Christ say?
““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48 NIV
Which is a reflection of Christlike love and which demonstrates the best a human can do without God in control of his life?
““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” First, let’s be reminded that this is Jesus Christ speaking. This part of his famous Sermon on the Mount. In this part of his sermon, Jesus begins a series of arguments with “you have heard” followed by “but I tell you.” ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.’”
Popular opinion says love your neighbor and hate your enemy. This seems so right, so sensible to the human heart. What is Jesus asking with love your enemy and pray for those who persecute me? He is asking me to extend grace to those who have shown enmity to me as his Father in Heaven has done for us. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
But I am not perfect and will never be perfect. Yet, I can have moments where I can perfectly do the godly, Christlike thing. What will that accomplish?
When we do the obviously unnatural thing, God gets the glory. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
This will not make your enemy suddenly change his/her mind about you. Your enemy may not fall prostrate and beg forgiveness or suddenly have a change of heart. But it does paint a better picture of who God is.
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.