“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. Matthew 5:38-39 NLT
Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!” Wait on the LORD, and He will save you. Proverbs 20:22
Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will repay the man according to his work.” Proverbs 24:29
Jimbob was trying to strengthen an inner muscle to control his desire to NOT fight back or hit back. We have a strong sense of justice, especially when we are the ones who have been offended. God alone is judge and we are not supposed to take matters into our own hands. Read the full section in Matthew chapter 5 and determine for yourself what you think Jesus was instructing his followers to do.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Questions to consider
- When is it okay to pursue legal justice when you have been wronged?
- God wants us to seek justice for the poor and oppressed, how would this work in tandem with the teachings in Matthew?
- Is there ever an occasion when suing is the right option?
- If someone steals or takes something from you, according to Matthew how should you try to get it back?
- Why is it so hard to trust that God is working when injustice is occurring? How will God make it right?
- How would you describe the difference between pacifism and blessing your enemies?
Two things occur when we have been on the receiving end of an injustice. First we resist from striking back or seeking vengeance. Secondly, we position our heart and actions to bless and be kind.
May God give you the grace to walk through both options. There is a blessing for you that is available once you have walked through this fire. In this world, you may have to walk it many times.
Blessings Love y’all