“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. Matthew 5:38-42 (MSG)
That is how I want to live. That is how I want to think and speak and act. How do you want to live? How do you want to think and speak and act? I want to live as a servant. I want to have a servant attitude in me when things don’t go my way. When don’t things go your way? When will you need to be especially focused on thinking and speaking and acting as a servant? I need to practice servant living when I am mistreated. That is the most obvious instance, that comes to my mind. Never should I seek revenge. Never you should I practice tit-for-tat. I will need to treat others as I would wish to be treated under every circumstance. Under what other circumstances must you also practice living as a servant? Whenever someone disappoints me and does think or speak or act according to my expectations, I need to practice living as a servant. What are your expectations? I expect to be treated honestly. I expect to be treated fairly. I expect people to keep their word. I expect people to deliver on their promises. I expect people to act responsibly. I expect others to treat me as they wish to be treated. You do have a lot of expectations. What will you do when people fail to live up to your expectations? That is when, I need to set aside my expectations. That is when, I need to practice living the servant life. That is when, I most need to follow the example that you have set before me. What example have I set before you? You loved and served and gave regardless of how others thought or spoke or acted towards you. Other’s behavior did not determine your behavior. You lived out the servant life no matter how you were treated. Will you think as I thought? Will you speak as I spoke? Will you act as I acted when you are disappointed, and even mistreated, by others? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I will not seek revenge. I will not attempt to pay others back when they mistreat me. Instead, I will practice the servant life when I am mistreated. I will follow your example. I will think as you thought. I will speak as you spoke. I will act as you acted. Amen
Key Question… How has Jesus Christ given you an example to follow of how to practice the servant life?
Living It Out… Make every effort to practice the servant life whenever you are mistreated.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that your life will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God as you practice the servant life?
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how you are practicing the servant life.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you practice the servant life when others mistreat you.
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