Don’t Give Them What They Deserve

Don’t Give Them What They Deserve

Matthew 5:38-48

Our tendency is to repay people for any negative words or harmful actions, but Jesus taught quite the opposite. The way of the kingdom is counter-cultural and yet life-giving.

Don’t give others what they deserve; give them what they need.

When They Deserve Payback (5:38-42)

  • Jesus values justice, but He doesn’t expect us to be responsible for it.
  • If we cannot transcend above juvenile retaliation, we reveal the grace of Jesus has yet to transform us thoroughly.
  • Don’t just do what the law requires; do what grace enables.

When They Deserve Persecution (5:43-47)

  • My reaction to persecution reveals if I want retribution for me more than I desire salvation for them.
  • There’s never been a person in history who loved God before God loved him/her.
  • If I am to share His love with others, I must initiate it because they will never deserve it.
  • Even unreligious people can love others who are for them; Christians are called even to love those against them.

When They Deserve Perfection (5:48)

  • Jesus’ call for perfection (τέλειοι) is accurately understood as a plea for growing maturity.
  • If you’ve experienced complete redemption, don’t settle for partial transformation.
  • Perfection is impossible, but progression is attainable.

Would Jesus say you are making progress in your spiritual life right now?