April 8, 2018
GROWN UP CHRISTIAN
Tribe Recap April 9, 2018 | Mat 5:38-48 | Col 3:13 | Prov 11:25 |I Pet 2:1-3
What does it mean to turn the other cheek? How should we respond when someone offends us? Reading through Matthew 5:38-48, familiar words scroll across our minds, but when we apply this difficult passage to our everyday life are the actions of forgiveness familiar to our habits?
Turning the other cheek means choosing to show an unoffended and purposed favor that refuses to take revenge on the offender. When they see our face, they see a clear and unbegrudged countenance. The ‘cheek’ we show them is unhurt and unscathed. In other words, when we are offended we can choose to regard the guilty party as though they had not offended us. We can let go of the offense; we can choose to forgive. Colossians 3:13 reminds us to release our complaints just as the Lord forgave us. If Jesus has forgiven our massive debt then we can forgive what others have done against us, small and puny compared to the work of the cross in our lives.
The Lord is constantly treating men with generosity, sending rain on both the righteous and the wicked. He provides blessings for both those who love him and those who hate him. This God is our example for how to live.
Do we send our ‘rain’ on everyone or do we choose to rain down our favor only on those who are easy or to whom we think deserving? The Father blesses the undeserved because he acts out of his own character not people’s merits.
Matthew 5:48 commands us to be ‘perfect’ just as our father is perfect, meaning, we are to be complete, mature, and fully grown. We are to be unoffended, generous and kind to all because of the character of God is living within us.
In short, God is calling his people to grow up, to be complete. This means we put away our prerogatives to be offended. The most significant offense is trivial before the judgment seat of eternity. If Jesus forgave us, we can forgive others. If the Lord is generous to all, we can too. If God is kind even to those who do not deserve it, then we will also. He is perfect and we are to be perfect like our Father.
The grown up Christian is not offended, generous, and gracious - pouring out favor and kindness on everyone they come across. If you believe you should be selective in this you are not thinking like your father yet. Should he be selective with you? Even while we were his enemy, he loved us enough to die in our place.
Be perfect like your father is perfect, mature and complete. It’s time for all of us to grow up and put away the rationalizations we keep against others. Pour out your kindness and generosity liberally and indiscriminately and you will be perfect like your father in heaven, watered and prosperous and free (Proverbs 11:25).