“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38-42
Who among you, when attacked physically or verbally, would respond in a like manner? Or if you’re like me, you might analyze the situation for days and become consumed with thoughts of what you should have said or how you should have retaliated against the person who wronged you. But here’s the thing, Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:38-42 that kindness should come before retaliation. You see, as followers of Jesus, we are not to be part of furthering the cycle of harsh behavior. So, instead of slapping the person who slapped you, be willing to be slapped again. Instead of standing up for your rights and filing a countersuit, give up your coat as well as your shirt. Instead of opposing a mile walk, be willing to go an extra mile with them. Be willing to give to the one who asks and do not turn from the one who wants to borrow something from you. Jesus himself, at his arrest and trial, exemplified what is taught in this message.
Men, we may never literally have to turn the other cheek, give up our coat or walk the extra mile, but we must be willing to respond in a selfless way that trusts God so much that we leave our vindication to Him. In doing this, we show how much we love God and how much we love others.
This Week’s Challenge: Think of someone who has hurt you. Instead of planning vengeance, pray for the person who hurt you.