Many people in the world are aggressive; aggressive for power, glory, wealth… in short selfishness. Yet the teaching of Yeshua seems to point to an opposite character. In His first recorded message, the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua said, “The meek will inherit the earth” and “Blessed are the merciful” and the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:3-8).
This is an opposite aggressiveness. The opposite of aggressiveness is not passivity, but a focused effort to go in the exact reverse direction from the lusts and selfishness in human society. It is to swim against the stream. It is sacrificial love (John 3:16); victory over world (I John 2:13); crucifixion of the flesh (Galatians 5:24). We could call this aggressive “fruit of the spirit” (Galatians 5:22).
Love is a fruit of the spirit. Yeshua told us even to “Love our enemies” (Matthew 5:44). Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Yeshua told us to rejoice when we are persecuted for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:11-12). We are to have peace in the storm (Mark 4:39) and patience in suffering (Romans 12:12).
Not only are we to be generous, but to be “overflowing in generosity from the depths of poverty” (II Corinthians 8:2). We are called not only to be faithful, but to be faithful when others are unfaithful (II Timothy 2:13, 15); not only to have self-restraint, but to “put to death the works of the flesh by means of the spirit” (Romans 8:13).
Is it possible to think in terms of “aggressive humility” or “aggressive generosity”? Can we make it our goal to live by the teaching of the Beatitudes and the Fruit of Spirit? This is what it means to be “created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26) and to be “conformed to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29).
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, June 1, 2017, and reposted with permission.