Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:38-42
“When someone strikes you on [your]right cheek, turn the other to him as well.” Matthew 5:39
This scripture passage is a tough one for me. I’m all about keeping things even and balanced. If someone does something kind for me, I don’t rest until I’ve reciprocated. If someone insults me or does me harm, I shake their dust from my shoes and walk away (Matt. 10:14). I’m far more into passages like Luke 6:31, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
But that’s Jesus for you. He knows where our growing points are, and never gives up on challenging us. He knows there’s always ways for us to become better and more holy. Just like we don’t want our kids to settle when we know they haven’t reached their potential yet, God relentlessly pokes and prods our weak spots until we finally give in and do something about the error of our ways.
Sadly, I sometimes ignore His lessons for far too long. Things in my life can get quite dire sometimes. Like that scale that I try to keep balanced, things tip so far in one direction, I finally have to admit the reasons to change far outweigh the bad habits or perspective I’m trying to hold onto.
If you’re someone who embraces the stance of non-retaliation in Matthew 5, my hat is off to you. If you’re like me and you still want things fair and square, we better buckle up and get ready for the ride. Because until we see things God’s way, the road ahead is sure to be rocky and loaded with obstacles to overcome.
Do I subscribe to Matthew 5:39 and turn the other cheek when someone hurts me? If not, do I recognize that the rocky road I face when I don’t is God tipping the scales to get me back on track?
Ever-encouraging God, thank You for never settling for a second-best version of me. Help me realize that when I cling to an unhealthy perspective or habit, the scale that inevitably tips is You offering me yet another chance to get things right.
Copyright 2019 Claire McGarry
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