Does This Mean…?

Yes, it does. This is what allegiance to Jesus, “to a person rather than a list of regulations”, is supposed to look like.

Does it apply to personal quarrels? Or to international conflicts? Yes.

Do we take these rules “literally”? Well, obviously, you obey someone best by understanding his meaning, not by ignoring him and slavishly complying with his literal statements.

“Turn the other cheek” is said to mean: “If someone insults you with a backhanded slap, offer him the cheek he would hit directly, thereby admitting that whether or not he likes you, he can’t dismiss you as a basically equal being.” Sometimes it probably means that.

“Treat others as you would like them to treat you;” that’s more complex than it sounds. Do you really want people to let you walk all over them? Sometimes you really need (& would even want, if you only knew) to have someone you’ve been dismissing set you back and tell you what’s what.

God loves everybody, and we are told to be like God in that way…  God’s way is to give us slack enough to see where our way leads; but other times God finishes with that & brings on the consequences. While continually forgiving.

We aren’t supposed to “just” act this way, muttering under our breath how good we’re being, while looking forward to seeing our enemy’s karma repossessed some day.

Whatever enmity lies between people, it isn’t as important as God’s love for them. How you embody that… may look like “love”, or it might look like anger. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to cultivate a sincere wish for their true good.

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