If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:29b-31)
In the children’s book, The Lunch Thief, by Anne C. Bromley, Kevin steals lunches. Rafael catches him, but wants to apply his mother’s advice to use his mouth before his fists. Rafael observes Kevin entering a motel and discovers Kevin lost everything in recent wildfires. Now Rafael acts in love and shares his lunch with Kevin.
When read in context, the Golden Rule takes on a new meaning. If my brother or sister was hungry, and I stole someone’s lunch to feed them, how, if caught, would I want to be treated? What if Kevin stole your child’s lunch? Could you pack your child two lunches and write Kevin’s name on one? And perhaps put an extra treat in your child’s lunch and advise your child to share it with Kevin. What if a thief steals because of greed? Likely they don’t know Jesus and have nothing spiritually. What effect would it have on someone if they stole your purse and you said, “Wait a minute, Jesus wants you to have my bracelet too.”
Lord, thank you for making me spiritually rich. Help me consider the needs of my family, friends, or coworkers today and ask myself if I were in their shoes what would I want, how would I want to be treated?