“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 someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him 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 (NIV)
This will be a major attitude adjustment for you. What’s that? You are a fighter. You like the heat of battle. You like to win, sometimes not matter what the cost. Dropping a matter does not come easily to you. You are not likely to let an evil person go unchallenged. You have been prone to consider how you might get even by seeking revenge. I have usually only thought about it. Rarely, have I ever taken steps to get even or seek revenge. I can’t even remember when I might have done that. Yes, I know. But you have certainly wasted a lot of time and energy by fantasizing about spectacular ways you could get even or seek revenge. That’s true, I must admit. How do you want me to adjust my attitude? How about thinking about spectacular ways that you can show my love and kindness to those who mistreat you? That would be a major attitude adjustment for me. Yes, it would be. But, let’s not stop there. What else? How about actually doing something loving and kind to those who mistreat you. Just thinking loving and kind thoughts toward those who mistreat you will not be nearly enough. Just praying for those who mistreat you, although a very good start, will not be enough either. I want you to take loving and kind action toward those who mistreat you. I want you to go way out of your way to do loving and kind things for those who mistreat you. How far out of my way? I want you to go the extra mile to show love and kindness toward those who mistreat you. What does that mean? It means I want you to do what is far beyond what you might normally consider doing. I want you to go way out of your way to show love and kindness to those who mistreat you. I want those who mistreat you to be completely astounded by your love and kindness toward them. Really? Yes, really.
What will happen when you show love and kindness to those who mistreat you? Those who mistreat me will wonder why I am responding to their evil with love and kindness. Yes, they will. They will wonder where such love and kindness comes from. It will seem other worldly to them. They will be curious. They will ask questions. Their questions will give me an opportunity to tell them about your love and kindness. My responding to their evil with your love and kindness will allow me to be your witness in the world. They may even come to know you through your love and kindness being expressed in and though my life. That’s right. How much better is that than getting even or seeking revenge? Far better. That’s what I want. I will spectacularly show your love and kindness to those who mistreat me. That will be very good.
Lord, I have often held grudges. I have often thought about seeking revenge. I have frequently resisted an evil person. Seldom have I gone the extra mile for someone who has mistreated. Help me to show others the love and kindness you have shown to me. Amen
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