“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God.”
1 Corinthians 3:19
“Jesus asks those who would follow him to love those who do not deserve it, without expecting anything in return, and in this way to fill the emptiness present in human hearts, relationships, families, communities and in the entire world….”
What separates a Christian from the rest of the world? How do they know that we are Christians? It is not for lack of sin, although some may see that. For most, it is holiness. Not in the floating above the earth kind, but in the everyday immovable kind. The loving your enemies kind. The kind that is other worldly, not religious.
When one desires to be holy, one desires to belong wholly to God. This is what holiness is. Not human perfection in the way that we understand it, but the way of Christ. And Christ’s teachings are complete foolishness to those who cannot hear him. While the world is shouting slanderous threats of death, the Christ Child is whispering, “But I say to you, offer no resistance to the one who is evil.” (Matthew 5: 39).
And all we have to do is desire the spiritual perfection that Christ is professing. We remain open, He does the work. Simply ask and it will be given to you. A prayer that is sure to be answered every single time.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
We pretend not to know God’s will, but we do. His message is simple but forgotten. Thy will be done means when someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. It means to give to the one who asks of you. It means love your enemy without exception.
Matthew Chapter 5 has every instruction that it takes to be holy- The sermon on the mount, the teaching on salt and light, the law, anger, adultery, divorce, oaths, retaliation and loving one’s enemy. Think of what the world teaches and just turn that on it’s head.
Christ is the enemy of the culture of death. He is the God of life.
I have struggled in the past with defining my own kind of holiness. I have equated holiness with this world’s idea of perfection, striving to be near sinless to accomplish what Christ has set out for me. But this is not the way to achieve holiness. To belong to God means to do His will. And His will is before me when I practice the beatitudes and teach others to find love for the ones that hurt them the most.
This Lent, it would behoove us to pick an area from Matthew Chapter 5 that we need to work on in order to walk closer to the light and attain that glorious perfection that Christ is seeking from us.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate our souls, we allow God to do His work. We pray thy will be done. We accept Christ’s teaching with its love and with its pain. And today we pray with Him in order to achieve that degree of belonging to Him here on earth that we seek to achieve.
Lord, it is hard not to think of or seek revenge against those who are evil to me. Help me to offer no resistance to the evil ones in my life.
Lord, it is hard when I have been emotionally hurt by someone that I loved or cared for, help me to turn the other cheek.
Lord, it is hard to give when I do not have much. Help me to trust you by giving what I have away.
Lord, my enemy is cruel and has slandered me, shouted untruths about me. Hurt me in indescribable ways. Help me to love them like you love them, and pray for them.
Lord, I ask you to let others see me do these things so that they may know who you are. And when they ask how and why, I will tell them, I am a messenger of Christ, the light of the world.
It is only by following Christ’s commands that someone new will love Him. Christ says that we already know the way, and we do.
Choose the harder, choose the cross, for it is the only way to life.