Thursday, 3 March 2016

Refusing to retaliate

Retaliation is something that seems to come naturally to most of us, especially when we feel we have been aggrieved. This is why we find Jesus' instructions on forgiveness so hard to live out. Choosing to "turn the other cheek" is such a foreign concept for us to comprehend.

When Jesus was urging his followers to "turn the other cheek" in his great Sermon on the Mount, he was actually referring to an Old Testament law on forgiveness. It also occurs in Jeremiah's writing, in the book of Lamentations:

"Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
and accept the insults of their enemies." - Lamentations 3:30

In this season of Lent we remember that Jesus didn't just propose this as a nice idea, but he actually practised what he asked his followers to do.

Who is God asking you to forgive today? Who is aggravating you so much, that you are ready to retaliate with vengence? What do you make of the words from Lamentations (and of course from Jesus?)

"The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief." - William Shakespeare

Living in Grace

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