What do you do when Biblical commands challenge your common sense?
It’s true that over the last two years, in day-to-day life not much has made much sense. Ridiculous is our new normal, but when it comes to the Bible, everything is supposed to make sense to us, right? The truth is that the Bible offers ridiculous commands that challenge everyone’s common sense.
Jesus was definitely over the top and the best life coach ever. Some say we should cancel Jesus, and others say He was the most extraordinary person who ever lived.
So, who is right? Well, you might say that Jesus was a leader on steroids.
Regardless of where you stand, the life hacks of Jesus were definitely Biblical commands that challenge our common sense. Here are just a few that have been known to immediately trigger the words “that’s ridiculous.”
Turn the other cheek
Who does that? Other religions teach a similar philosophy, but Jesus made it famous.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the evil one. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38–39, ESV)
This verse focuses on believers that suffer persecution for Christ’s sake. The verse is not saying to never stand up for yourself. If someone attacks a Christ-follower as an act of persecution, we should stand down. The power to not strike back relays a powerful message of restraint and inner strength to the perpetrator.
Turning the other cheek is not a way of saying, “keep hurting me.” Instead, it’s a way of standing firm in the face of persecution, abuse, or mistreatment. Can you see how turning the other cheek can amaze a person who physically hurts someone? Easy said and hard to do. They must wonder, how do they have that much inner strength?
To turn away from our critics and not return counter punches or counter comments is counterintuitive.
The inner strength to stand down is a robust response, but it will challenge your common sense.
Give, and you shall receive
What? Really? Does this make any sense? Shouldn’t it be receive and give after? Again, Jesus, this is not the way common sense works.
Fact is, does giving away your money ever make sense? Well, when you think it through, giving makes a lot of sense. Even creation teaches that we reap what we sow. Praying for crops to grow without sowing a seed is even more ridiculous. But some hope to reap without a sowing-we call that entitlement.
These same folks expect God to answer their prayers. And God uses the laws He put in place to answer our prayers, and God has a law called sowing and reaping.
As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” (Genesis 8:22, ESV)
Planting and harvest are a God strategy. God gave us trees and plants that yield seeds.
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (Genesis 1:29, ESV)
We have children because of a seed and a womb. We sow the seed of our bodies, and we reap a new body called a baby. That is truly amazing.
This giving concept also applies to our finances. God commands that we give our wealth to show our trust in Him. In the days of the Patriarch’s, God commanded the Israelites to set aside the first portion of the animals and crops for His Kingdom.
“Bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.” (Deuteronomy 12:6, NKJV)
We can start 2022 off by obeying God’s ridiculous commands and obeying His word. Obedience alone will set the tone for a better, more prosperous year.
We prefer to hoard and hold onto our wealth. And yes, we should also save and steward our wealth. But we also must obey the ridiculous — give to receive.
God meets our needs by our giving.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:10–12, ESV)
You can call it ridiculous or try it.
Either way, finding common sense in God’s commands will challenge or even escape you.
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