Luke and The Lost
I overheard a newly married couple argue over who was going to do the dishes. The score cards then appeared in the conversation. “Well, I took out the trash yesterday.” “But I washed the car the day before.” Do you keep “score” at your house? Randy and I worked hard not to do that. This is not the way Jesus taught us to love or work together. It is the popular way of worldly thinking but it is not living the Truth of what pleases God. We do for others to please God. Period. Who’s keeping score? True servants do not keep score.
There will always be troubles but there will always be help in troubles while living here on earth. Some troubles we bring on ourselves by working harder to please ourselves and others than on working enthusiastically to please God. Do you want to be popular with men? says Jesus, or live by my Truth.
This next passage is full of words that are counterculture with higher thinking that is beyond what this world has to offer. The world speaks of platitudes of “serving” but generally serving is expecting those served to give something back to you. Mm, that’s not what Jesus teaches.
Read slowly. Munch on the words slowly. Meditate on the meaning behind the words. Evaluate your own thinking as I am. Are we trying to be popular or are we truly living the Truth?
Luke 6, The Message
Give Away Your Life
24 But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.
25 And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.
26 “There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.
27-30 “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: 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 that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
31-34 “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35-36 “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
37-38 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
39-40 He quoted a proverb: “‘Can a blind man guide a blind man?’ Wouldn’t they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn’t lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.
41-42 “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
What do we learn?
–God’s way of life.
–Our task is to be true, not popular.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I will meditate on your word all day long. Thank you for consistently reminding us of Truth, Your way of life for us. Defeat the foe within us who shouts a different way to live. Help us to follow you, obey your commands, and join you in your work with enthusiastic hearts and minds to please only You.
In Jesus Name, Amen