Love your enemies.
Bless those who curse you.
Do good and pray for those who hurt you.
Lend without expectation of repayment.
These actions seem like exactly the opposite of self-preservation; they seem like an efficient way to exhaust spiritual, financial, and emotional resources. It seems like a great way to let the systems of the status quo trample you yet again.
How will change come if we are always turning the other cheek? How will someone find rock bottom if we are always lending without expectation of repayment? What will we do when we’ve given everything away and our faces are black and blue from cheek turning?
To be honest, I don’t know. All I know is this: Jesus steadfastly refused to use his power against those who would murder him, and instead allowed himself to be murdered – and Jesus changed the world. Jesus changed the entire course of history.
Here’s the real question, the deep question, the question that sometimes keeps me up at night: Do we trust that God loves us enough to overcome the pain of loving our enemies? Do we trust that God has blessed us sufficiently to offer those blessings to people who only offer curses in return? Do we trust that God will be sufficiently good to us so that we’ll be able to be good to people who use us? Do we trust that when we lend, and give away our jacket and our shirt, that God will still provide everything we need?
If we lay down our privileges and take up our crosses, will God be enough?