The discussion here and elsewhere around RAKnominations has been interesting for me. I spent a few moments reflecting on some of the points raised elsewhere and a few thoughts and a question came to my mind.
We often hold verses in tension with one another to create a sometimes inexpressible truth. Our faith is often somewhere on a string between two points rather than a static position.
There was some discussion about Matthew 5’s ‘shine your light before others so that they may see your works and praise your Father in heaven.’ A solid point, that despite my self-aggrandising belief that I know my Bible I had missed or edited out. The tension held between the two points finds its centre somewhere in the heart behind the action and where the thanks and praise is directed. In essence, of course, shine your light, but know that the light in you is Jesus.
We are a complex mix of Extoversion/Introversion, previous failure/success, acceptence/rejection, theological bias’ and upbringing. We would be foolish to assume that this doesn’t affect how we see and interpret everything we read in scripture. We are always reading through numerous lenses that we are hardly aware of. These must affect what challenges us and what we find natural and easy.
So ere’s the question:
Am I drawn to Matthew 6 because something within me finds that more/less challenging than Matthew 5?
Are others drawn to Matthew 5 because it is more of less challenging than Matthew 6?
The main teaching that hangs on both sides is be kind, be generous and be loving. These little things make big differences.