Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
“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 goes against everything that our human nature tells us to do. Who in their right mind would allow someone to take advantage of them in some way, let alone offer to do more for the person who is the perpetrator? The human trait of self preservation tells us to run from situations like this, or, at least to be angry.
Perhaps it is the anger that is the motivating factor in these situations. It is not the anger of the victim, but the anger of the perpetrator against himself and God that is the element that needs to be overcome. Anger can make people do things that no one in their right mind would really ever consider doing. Locating this anger and addressing it is exactly what we are told to do in Matthew.
By willingly doing more than what is forced upon us, we turn the tables from one of a controlling anger to one of a willing love. If we do what is forced upon us, and then do more, it shows that we are not bound by the anger that drives the force. We are bound by the love of God through Jesus Christ, which has overcome the greatest anger – the anger and wrath of a sinful nature let loose upon this earth to kill and destroy.
How do you react when you are forced to do something that you do not wish to do? Do you fight it or do you offer yourself to the task and do more than is expected? What if Jesus was reluctant when He was forced to go to the cross? Whenever He was presented with an opportunity to extract himself, He would have taken it. Where would that leave you and I?
Sometimes we must do things out of a greater love than the love of ourselves!