Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 8:20
This verse in the Christian Bible and Hebrew Torah haunt me lately. Why? Because God gave us what should be 2 very simple commands: Love Him and love others.
As I look from Capitol Hill in DC, where I was most of this week, to my personal life, I see people clashing with one another, not loving one another. Can it really be that hard to come together as one people, not warring factions? What are we if we are not listening to God and following His very simple commands?
The common thinking is that the idiom about “giving the shirt off your back” originated in the 18th Century. It may have gained popularity back then but it was eighteen centuries before when Jesus said “from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold your shirt” (Luke 6:29). Translation: give to anyone in need, even if that literally includes giving the shirt off your back. And Jesus didn’t just talk the talk as so many so-called “Christians” do today. He walked the walk in going way past giving His shirt. He gave His life.
There’s not much more to say about this. It’s all pretty clear. Someone asks you (or begs) for something, give it to them. No questions asked. And if you ignore that person just think what Jesus did and asks us to do. Are you listening to that dark voice inside or Jesus?
The outside world cannot take away your peace. And, yes, unless you don’t know it, you have natural peace within you. That’s simply because God created you and God is peace to the core. Only you can take away your peace. Not someone else.
Not at peace? Events and/or people around you “stealing” your peace? Well, they can’t “steal” your peace unless you let them. Your peace is your’s. Only you can let events and/or others take your peace away. You own it.
Not at peace? Lost your peace? Find a quiet place like a church, library, mountaintop, etc. and tune out the world. Dig down deep inside of you looking for your peace. You will find it if you really try. And, if you don’t realize it already, that peace is God inside of you.
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
If you look at any problems, from minor to major, at their root are greed and ego. We have made life out to be about the collection of “things”—money, shoes, cars, houses, etc, etc. Having one of something is not enough. And ego—me over you—is always the focus. Greed feeds ego. If I have more, I am better.
Whether it’s high politics of just our everyday lives, greed and ego factor into the root of all differences and disputes. We can’t put ourselves—our egos—on the back burner. Our egos need to be front and center. “I” am more important that “you.” “MY (and the all upper caps is intentional) wants come before “your”(and the all lower caps is just as intentional) needs.
Jesus tells us to live a life that is anything but greed and ego. Of all the teachings Jesus has given us, I think some of the best is summed up in Luke 6:27-42. If you are looking for a roadmap on how to live you life, it’s all right there. It’s the exact opposite of greed and ego. The verses are well worth reading and meditating on every day of your life. They are not always easy to live day in, day out. But they are pure Jesus. Pure Christian.