An Eye For An Eye?

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Isn’t that what we naturally want to live by? Nobody likes being pushed around. It isn’t fun being humiliated. It isn’t pleasant being cussed at and called ugly names. We don’t like to be cheated. We don’t like to be defrauded. So our natural tendency is to fight back. To get what is ours. Retaliation. Payback. We get angry and upset. We won’t tolerate it or let it go. All of that is the normal way we can think and feel. But God has called us to be “un-normal”; not like the world. We have to ask God how He wants us to think and feel. How does He want us to handle the situations that come up from time to time?

God is aware of the fact that our emotions get the best of us. He knows our tempers. He knows our minds and hearts. He knows where Satan wants to lead us. That’s why Jesus dealt with this issue in Matthew 5:38-42. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”

Now that we’ve read what our Lord and Savior commands us about this topic, do we take it seriously? Or do we respond with a chuckle and say, “Well Jesus, that’s a nice saying and all but it’s just not practical. It’s not reality.” Is that our attitude? Do we really not think that it is possible? Nothing is impossible with God. We can do all things through Christ. The problem comes in when I don’t want to do it God’s way. God’s way works. But will we do it His way? Are we willing to humble ourselves to the point where we’re not going to try to step on those who step on us? We are to be patient. Loving. Gentle. Persevering. Somebody slaps me on my cheek. Maybe it’s ugly words and names. Maybe it’s hateful attitudes and unkind actions. It stings. It hurts. Emotions swell. Anger builds. Then what are you going to do? Jesus said hold it in. Depressurize. Seek peace. Be willing to suffer wrong. Go the extra mile. People will ask a lot of us sometimes. People will mistreat us. People will use us and take advantage of us. Some will cheat us. But Jesus says that we are to seek to do good for them. Be giving. Caring. Kind. Diffuse the situation with peace and love. And move on. Move on in faith and holiness.

It ain’t going to be easy. But life’s tough sometimes. So we gotta strap on the helmet God gives us and carry on. Jesus was willing to be humiliated, hated, beaten, killed. All for our sins. And yet He still loved those who hated Him. He still loved us. So what are we willing to do? Are we willing to take up our cross and follow Him? Look to Jesus. Follow His example. Go to Him for strength to endure and make it through. Do not retaliate in any situation. Don’t give in. Be strong. Be God’s. God’s way works. Do it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s