The past couple of years I’ve been studying up on what good boundaries are in human relationships. Basically, where do I end and you begin? I need to be responsible for what is mine and be willing to address when those boundaries are wrongly crossed.
So now I read Luke 6:27–31 and think, huh. How does this work?
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Obviously others will take things they shouldn’t, and hurt us though they shouldn’t. But instead of standing up for ourselves, Jesus says,
offer your cloak too, turn your other cheek.
God made us all with worth, so I know He isn’t just saying, allow yourself to be stepped on and abused because I don’t care. He cares very much! And yes, we should have healthy boundaries. But once we have those boundaries established, we have the power to cross them or allow them to be crossed to demonstrate God’s love. We can offer more when something is taken, we can forgive those that wronged us and even turn our cheek to say God is worth more to me than even physical pain or my very good and necessary boundaries. It’s what grabs people’s attention. We allow ourselves to be wronged at times not because we are weak or worthless, but because we can demonstrate Who holds the most worth to us, Jesus Christ. Like so many principles of the Kingdom of God, it does seem a bit counter-intuitive at first.
In these seemingly upside-down rules, we demonstrate where out treasure is, and it’s in Christ, not just in common sense worldly wisdom. The world says, someone took your cloak. Now, get it back! Be angry! Retaliate. Jesus says, there is only one thing of utmost importance and it cannot be taken away by anyone….Me, My love, My sacrifice for you. So, we can be extra generous. We can hold lightly to our belongings and worldly “treasures.” When necessary we can display that everything, even comfort and real human needs, come after Him.
Give it away,
because we can. It’s not that we are too weak to defend ourselves, we are too powerful in Christ to do anything but lift Him up and glorify Him.
Generosity and sacrifice actually become power. I get what’s mine and in an even more concentric circle I get Who is mine. And that, no one can take away. I understand that so well, that I willingly give away some things I would rather not and if necessary, everything. What I have for eternity is my relationship with God, and no one can take that away.