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27 August 2011

5 Things Jesus Taught... (Part 5)

Finally (for this series, anyway)...

5) "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (Matthew 7:12, NLT)

If we wanted to over-analyze it (something I tend to do), we could get into a pitcher-verses-batter scenario: the pitcher reasons, "He's going to expect me to throw a fastball here, so I can't throw a fastball. I could use my slider, but he knows that's my second-best pitch, therefore I can't throw the slider. Realizing that, since we
both know I can't throw the slider in this situation, I'll throw the curve..." and so forth. (Check out "The Princess Bride" for more on this scenario.)

That is, as followers of Jesus, we know we're supposed to look out others before we look out for ourselves. Understanding that, if we're supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated (and we don't want to be treated better than anyone else), we can treat others worse than we treat ourselves. And so the endless cycle could continue for the too-deep-thinker. But the obvious meaning is that we should have grace toward everyone. Treat them better than they have a right to be treated. This is the way that God has treated us. I heard a fantastic quote today:

"You can't demontrate grace to someone until the other person doesn't deserve it."
Ow. Really?? (Yes, peeps. I'm afraid that's basically the definition of "grace.")

Honestly, I probably deserve to be humiliated, degraded, and punished publicly for any number of things that I've done. But God sees me as righteous -- as good, and worthy of knowing Him as Father -- not becaue of anything good I've done to make up for the bad things, but because Jesus Christ has given me that status.

"You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had:" (Philippians 2:5, NLT)

Jesus willingly died a criminal's death at the hands of the dirty, rebellious beings He Himself created. It's a tall order to think that He might expect the same of us, isn't it?

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