Friday, July 4, 2008

Even if you kill me, you can’t hurt me.

I hear over and over again, something like, “But if I don’t retaliate or if I don’t resist when people wrong me, then I’m just a doormat.” The very fact that such a person is aware of the choice of retaliating or not retaliating shows that s/he is not a doormat, for a doormat does not have a choice.

Consider this example. Judas was an aggressor against Jesus. Judas' betrayal played a key role in the torture and death of Jesus. And yet Jesus willingly washed the feet of the man He knew was about to betray Him. Jesus voluntarily took the lowest position in that society to show His followers the attitude that He wants us to take with those who are doing wrong to us. Jesus was no doormat.

When people balk at the command to love their enemies, they experience mental dissonance because they are trying to envision doing so from within the context of their present character. And of course they’re right. In our natural state it can’t be done without being personally wounded to varying degrees. To keep a spiritual law when you yourself are an unspiritual person, or to keep God’s law when you yourself are an un Godly person, it is simply impossible.

In fact, attempting to keep laws of love, without possessing God’s loving “character” turns us into hateful individuals.

However, once our character has been possessed by the Spirit of Love, keeping those “laws” of love is done without our even being aware we’re doing it. Love then is not something we do, but who we become when we are in a right relationship with the author of love, Jesus the Christ. Because of that, my well-being is not caught up in you loving me or treating me properly. Nor is my well-being damaged in any way when you don’t love me or when you treat me improperly. I don’t need your approval, nor do I need health or wealth for the reason of trying to win your approval; or the approval of myself for that matter. My well-being, to the degree that I possess well-being is something intrinsic due to my relationship with my Creator. “By this they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.

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