We, as a society, are encouraged these days to look out for #1. Moms are told that they’ll be better moms when they regularly make time for themselves, for instance. Well, I could go off on this topic, but what I’d like to turn to is what my eyes fell upon when I opened my Bible. My page was marked for Matthew 6:33, but the first thing that I saw was a section entitled, “An Eye for an Eye.” This is verses 38- 42 of chapter 5, and it reads:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
In other words, my opening paragraph was inaccurate. This isn’t a new phenomenon…it’s been around since after the fall into sin. It’s just hard to remember this mentality when we’re bombarded in the media by an entirely different message: you have to look out for yourself! Demand your rights! Get your apology! Get your free benefits for their mistake! If you won’t stand up for yourself, who will?
What misguided sentiments. Who’s looking out for us??? GOD is! What speaks louder about the leadings of our heart than our silence?
When someone misspeaks about a matter involving me, my blood starts to simmer and I begin brainstorming what I’ll say to set them right. How dare they smear my name? What a waste of mental capacity.
For example, I recently read the Duggar’s latest book, in which Jim Bob tells of a reporter who would print false statements during his run for a Senate seat. Rather than correct him, Jim Bob remained quiet and let his life serve as the testament. With time, the reporter stopped being against him and they now consider each other a friend. I wonder where they’d be today if Jim Bob had been more apt to “stand up” for himself?
It goes against nature, for sure, but that would be in reference to our sinful, selfish natures. When we think of Jesus, we are reminded of true selflessness. He made not a single mistake but paid for the multitudes of each one of us! He bore every painful second on the cross and every false accusation with quiet grace, lavishing forgiveness on those who pounded in the nails.
No, we can’t achieve such a level of true grace, but that we would constantly look to Jesus as our example when we are personally attacked, and ask that God strengthen us to withstand the temptations. He will provide! Matthew 6:33!