Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 5:38-42 (NKJV)
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”
What truth is revealed? I’m sure that no-one reading this has ever considered revenge. (Hope that you caught the sarcasm) We tell our children that the world is not “fair.” Then we, ourselves, are faced with a situation that cries out for justice, and we want our pound of flesh. No doubt, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” is fair. BUT—is it right? According to Jesus, there is a better way to respond to an evil person.
What is the command, wisdom or promise? This may be the most difficult command in all of Jesus’ teachings to actually apply to our lives. When another person acts in an aggressive manner towards us when unprovoked, we are not inclined to turn the other cheek. We are certainly not going to help them. But, maybe Jesus’ teaching has deeper implications.
What does this mean to/for me? The way that I respond in situations—particularly, difficult, trying situations, speaks louder than words. Perhaps Jesus wants me to exchange “my” desire for justice for something of far greater value, like influence. How I respond to an enemy will either confirm that we are indeed adversaries, or it might crack open the door for a meeting of the minds. Maybe an opportunity to share the Gospel of “Peace.”
What action can/should I take? Too often I forget that this world is not my home and that my citizenship is in another place; and I lose sight of what is important. It is more important to use my life to influence people for the sake of the Kingdom than it is to exact justice for myself. Time to grow up—turn the other cheek—go the second mile—live for the King!
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.