Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy;
share tears when they’re down.
Get along with each other;
don’t be stuck-up.
Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back;
discover beauty in everyone.
If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.
“I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink.
Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Romans 12:14-21 MSG
…“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me.
What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable.
You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!
—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds.
And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.
“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.
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior:
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.
(Notice the air bubbles in someone else’s screen protector when your own screen is cracked!)
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.
JUST live your own part.
Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
“If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock.
When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last.
But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation.
When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.”
Luke 6:22-23, 27-42, 48-49 MSG
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you.
Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.
No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
Romans 12:1-3 MSG