(Mt 5:20-26)
"I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

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@George This one is a hard teaching for most of us. A lot of wisdom for most circumstances. I hope for mercy though because many people struggle with it.

I also wonder how we are supposed to deal with truly malignant people. Probably "shake dust off your sandals" (e.g., try to avoid them).

@Columbkille I think this is more about what is in my heart than anything else and that is why it is difficult.

Our normal, defensive, prideful response to bad people -- particularly those who have hurt us -- is not to forgive, not to have compassion but to hope for vengeance and "justice".

We are called to be better than that. Loving them does not mean we don't distance ourselves from them, but rather pray for them in their struggles and otherwise helping them if we can.

Much easier said than practiced, particularly in the heat of the moment. Conversion of heart, seeing things as God does, is the command. I have work to do.

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