The Didache 7 – Ask It Not Back

This series is reflecting on the Didache if you want to read it separately.

If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, ask it not back, for indeed you are not able. Give to every one who asks you, and ask it not back; for the Father wills that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts).

Obviously, this is largely drawn from the Sermon on the Mount. Still, the balance of the repeated phrase, ask it not back, stands out to me. In the first instance, it is paired with take, in the second with give. In the first there is a sense of force against you and indeed helplessness on your part for you are not able. In the second you are in the position of power, with the ability to demand back that which you have given.

But it is the Father’s will that we give from our blessings to all.

Give.

All.

Those are tough words. I love some enough to give to them. I do not love all that much. And yet that’s the sort of love God has for us. All of us. The loved and the unloved and the hated are all loved by God. We who live and move and have our being in the overflow of that love have no excuse for doing less.

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