Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 19 April 2023. Today’s topic: Because, the Heart

And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.  Matthew 5:40-42

Why would Jesus tell us for “yes” to mean “yes” (and “no” to mean “no”), and then tell us to offer up ourselves if evil attacks us?   Because, the heart. 

Notice, too, that Jesus makes the leap from “when evil confronts us” to “when someone asks you for something.”   That seems strange, until I think that, whenever someone asks me to do something for them, or to borrow something, I usually feel a twinge of selfishness, maybe even victimhood.   Oh, woe is me!   Someone wants to borrow my lawnmower!   Someone is asking me to get out of my (fearful) comfort zone!

What do evil and selfishness have to do with each other?   Actually, quite a lot.   Maybe personal selfishness is just a petty form of evil, a personalized, in-dwelt nugget of evil instead of a giant, Maleficent-the-dragon kind.  In a way, that selfish nugget is actually more dangerous, and has more long-term lethality than the short-term dragon attack.  That selfishness is like a corrosion that eats away at us from inside, taking years to etch away the health of our hearts until, like corrupted pieces of metal, they become irreparably broken.   Then, we’re left just being selfish, mean old people who are hard to love and harder to be around.

Because, again, the heart.

We should mean what we say and trust Jesus at all times and in all ways, even when evil is brought upon us.  Even when people want to borrow our nearest and dearest possessions.  That becomes possible when we let Jesus scour the selfishness and sin-tendencies out of our hearts.  He replaces them with patience, love, and a willingness to serve Him in whatever we do.   That heart-attitude made Maximilian Kolbe willingly exchange his life for someone else’s (and for a crown of victory from the Lord).   It makes parents willingly sacrifice anything for their kids.   It makes the heart of giving beat and the attitude of serving overwhelming. 

Jesus asks us to put off our sinful ways and pick up His ways.   When we do, it becomes easier to give a stranger your coat, or maybe a meal, or a ride home.   It becomes possible for us to go into tough situations with a heart to serve and the courage to back it up.   When we do, other people see Jesus through us, and that’s how the world begins to change.   Because, you know, the heart.   It’s how evil is vanquished one little act of love at a time.

For more reading:  Deuteronomy 15:8, Luke 6:30, Matthew 5:43

Lord, let me act as You would:  with a heart to give and serve from You.

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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