Don't be a Doormat!
The Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5-7, as well as Luke 6, contains some of the most well-known words of Jesus. These teachings have blessed countless millions of people; at the same time, there are a number of “hard sayings” in the Sermon on the Mount which have turned many people off to Jesus. Teachings such as “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemies,” “bless those who curse you,” “go the extra mile,” etc. have generated great resistance, even among many who consider themselves to be Christians. If you ask those who struggle with these teachings about what it is they resent, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you that they don’t want to become a “doormat.” The fear is, that by following Jesus’ words, and loving ones enemies, for example, a person can be taken advantage of.
Now, did Jesus have anything to say about being a doormat? In fact He did! In the same Sermon on the Mount, which contains these hard sayings, Jesus said the following:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Matthew 5:13
In other words, if we lose our spiritual vitality, our zeal, and our unique lifestyle, which is contrary to the rest of the world, then we become unsalty salt, good for nothing, except to be trampled under foot by others. So then, who is the true doormat? According to Jesus, it’s actually the Christian who is no longer empowered by God, and who doesn’t turn the other cheek, love his enemies, etc. When we no longer follow the radical, controversial teachings of Jesus, we then become tasteless, as it were. One might say that the Christian who is simply a Christian in name only, becomes a joke to the rest of the world.
If we want to be “salty,” then we need to demonstrate to the world the powerful love of Jesus, by loving our enemies, blessing those who curse us, lending expecting nothing in return, etc. The truth is that if we follow the teachings of Scripture in His strength, then in Jesus’ eyes, we’ll never become a doormat.
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