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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Matthew 5:38, 39, 41

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. ... And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two."
Matthew 5:38, 39, 41

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught a lifestyle that differs radically from the accepted norm. So it is with this teaching that has become so well known that everyone knows what it means to "turn the other cheek" or to "go the extra mile." Here Jesus demonstrates a profound knowledge of the human heart that would positively impact each of our relationships if we dared to obey Him.

It seems natural and logical to desire justice when we have been wronged and to desire leniency when we have wronged someone else. Instead, Jesus seemingly admonishes us to ignore the offenses of others and reward their behavior instead of confronting them, almost to the point of just letting people walk all over us.

Actually, Jesus teaches here a principle that will radically transform every relationship in which it is practiced. In a marriage where just one person decides to stop demanding justice in every offense, but rather gives over-the-top joyful service in response to offenses, it will never be the same. Jesus knows that when kindness is returned for offensive behavior, the heart of the other person will, in time, be touched. When both do this in a marriage, it will eventually overflow with great joy. Be bold to ask God for the strength to resist the desire to return evil for evil, and return blessing instead. Trust Him to transform your heart to do this, and His joy will be yours in full.

Tom Day



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