TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, January 12, 2018:
A meeting of people face to face in hostility; an open conflict of opposing ideas.
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. Matthew 5:38-39.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Tempers flare quickly. It doesn’t take much to set off a confrontation. Before one confronts someone for something said or done one needs to carefully read what Jesus said in the verse we have written above. It is one’s natural reaction to want to retaliate and confront the one that irritates, speaks untruth, or harms physically. But that is not what God wants from us as believers in Him.
Some years ago we had a wonderful minister friend, who has since gone to heaven, that spoke to his congregation after a confrontation in their community. He said that he was hearing from some that they now wanted to retaliate with an eye for an eye. His response to his people in his sermon was that you can never even the score you can only raise the stakes.
It happens every day. A student insults a school mate, a sibling takes something belonging to another sibling, or a driver of a car cuts off another driver. Situations such as these often grow quickly into a fight. It is a process of retaliation, confrontation and escalation that results from an attitude of revenge. Revenge is the desire to even the score.
In the verses above from Matthew, Jesus tackles this key relationship issue. Jesus tells us to accept personal injury without retaliation. In His illustration in this verse we must understand that most people slap with their right hand so in order for them to strike the right cheek they must use the back of that hand. In Jesus day hitting with the back of the hand was a way to insult or show disrespect rather than physically hurting or injuring a person. By telling us to turn the other cheek, Jesus was teaching that we are not to retaliate when we are mistreated.
Before Jesus was crucified He was insulted, mocked, spit upon and beaten and yet He never retaliated. By reacting in this manner we as believers today can send a message of love and forgiveness. To return good for good is natural but to return good for evil is supernatural.
At all times turn your confrontations over to Jesus and He will bring justice in His way.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Romans 8:14.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Help me Lord, not to retaliate when someone wants to pick a fight by harassing or insulting me. Instead give me the strength to show forgiveness and to turn the other cheek so Your love will shine through me.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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