"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt–seasoning that brings out the God–flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
" Here's another way to put it:You're here to be light, bringing out the God–colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light–bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand––shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
We are to make this earth more "palatable" by being salt on the earth. Being salt on the earth makes it a better place for all of us to live. We are to bring out all of God's colors on this earth. We are to shine brightly so these colors can be seen. What do we want the world to taste and see? Our "generous" lives.
No more tit–for–tat stuff. Live generously.
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God–created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best––the sun to warm and the rain to nourish––to everyone, regardless:the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run–of–the–mill sinner does that.
" In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God–created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
Wow!!! How generous is God that he even gives good our enemies. What an example. May we all give prayer for our enemies. Enemies aren't people who are trying to kill you necessarily. Enemies are people who may treat you poorly or talk about you behind your back. Whenever someone misuses you, pray for them. Isn't the end result we all want is a restored relationship with God. If we start restoring relationships with those we are out of sorts with, then the relationships with God will fall back not place.