A Call to Radical Kindness - Do Not Resist - Monday, February 20th

A Call to Radical Kindness - Do Not Resist - Monday, February 20th

So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 2 Samuel 8:15

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:9-10

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 an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth  and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1Peter 2:21-23

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

Table games are a common pastime. Play in most games proceeds from left to right. This is true in cards as well, except in one popular game. That game is Uno. While play starts left to right, it doesn’t stay that way. Throughout the course of the game the direction of play will change many times. This is because included in the deck are a number of “Reverse” cards that when played call for an immediate reversal in the direction of play. Just when we think it is our turn to play, the person next to us plays a “Reverse” card and the game moves away from us in the other direction. Jesus often used “reverse” cards in His teaching ministry while He was here. Jesus did this because He wanted His followers to live life in a different way than the conventional way. In the sermon on the mount Jesus uses the following format: “you have heard that it was said” / “but I say to you.” This is so very much like playing a “Reverse” card and He does it five times in a row. 

The Matthew passage above is one of the five “Reverse” cards that Jesus played in the sermon on the mount. At the time when Jesus was here on earth “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” was the conventional approach for responding to those who do evil. For Jesus to say, “do not resist (fight against) an evil person” as an alternative approach was very much like spitting in the wind – seemingly not much chance of His words getting to where they need to be – into the hearts and lives of His listeners. Talk about spitting in the wind. How about for us, particularly with all that is going on in our country and around the world? How does this alternate approach Jesus calls us to, play out for us right now with those who do evil? This is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

 Lord, I am your follower and I want to pay full attention to your Word. Following in your steps and obeying your word put me on a radical path in regard to how I treat others. I recognize how readily I expect exactness in how others should be dealt with while expecting leniency for myself. For the sake of your kingdom please change me into one who does not resist the evil ways of others but readily bestows kindness on them no matter what. Amen!

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