March Like Jesus
… In Our Behavior – Part VI
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:31-42
Key Verse: Matthew 5:39
“But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also”.
The third “marching order” in the passage of scripture we started looking at in yesterday’s devotional is about retaliation. We have studied in earlier devotionals that Jesus continually emphasizes healthy relationships and conflict resolution in His teachings.
In Matthew 5:38-42, part of our Scripture Reading for today, Jesus lays out how to handle those who treat you wrong and demand unfair favors. In summary, Jesus tells His followers to “turn the other cheek and walk the second mile”. This does not fit well into most people’s plan of action when others treat them unfairly.
Jesus knows that God repays all evil done to us and makes all things right in the end for His people. Therefore, we are never to retaliate in anyway against those who “do us wrong”. These marching orders are part of what makes up the “cross” that Jesus tells us to pick up when we follow Him (Luke 9:23).
Are you ready to “die” to your pride and squelch your need for revenge on people who hurt you? My friend, those are your marching orders!
The refusal to retaliate is part of the kind of love that Jesus asked us to show to all people. God-like love is not a feeling but an action. So, when we decide not to retaliate on someone who hurt us, that is an action of God-like love.
As I said before in my devotionals, following Jesus in these areas can feel like we are losing or that someone is taking advantage of us. We need to discipline our minds to think differently than those without Christ. We never lose when we treat people as Jesus tells us.
In whatever ways we may feel we lose in this life are insignificant when compared to what we gain in eternity.
Take just a moment to remind yourself of how fast this life is passing by; the older we get the more that reality is clear. The evil one loves to blind people to the fact that this life is short, but our next life lasts forever… an eternity! The moment anyone truly grasps this, they can start to live more for eternity than this present life.
It would be great if all believers could say and truly feel that they no longer care if others take advantage of them or if they feel short-changed in this life. It would be great if believers could care more about a healthy relationship than winning an argument!
May God help us all to make a serious effort to never retaliate but give all hurt feelings over to Him. His reward to all those who make this effort will be “out of this world” wonderful!
Receive your marching orders, never retaliate!
Father, forgive me for the times I have fought back when people hurt me. Remind me to let You defend me and make everything right in the end. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.