Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
Dying to the ways of this world is hard, but it’s actually quite simple. The New Testament is full of how we are to do this (e.g. Philippians 4:8) and The Golden Rule of “do[ing] to others as you would have them do to you” is universally-accepted as the “right” thing to do – even by non-Believers. But Jesus doesn’t just ask us to die to the world and surrender to Him – He always goes a step further in His “asking” and pushes us ever more deeply into Holiness with Him. He asks us to give all of ourselves away to Him and to others (thus confirming the two Greatest Commandments). It’s hard to stop judging and condemning and it can be incredibly challenging at times to forgive and to give of ourselves (time, talent, treasures) in general. Again, while things in this world in our earthly flesh are hard for us to do, they are still relatively simple (even in complex situations). So, rather than focusing on ourselves, let’s all do our best to put our focus on Jesus and others first. The more that we “give” of ourselves to Jesus and others, the More that we’ll receive from Jesus (in this life and in the One to come) – “for the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” And that’s a Promise that you can take to the Eternal Bank in Heaven!