"You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don't resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." Matthew 5:38-39 HCSB
Jesus gives the fifth of His contrasting statements dealing with righteousness that goes beyond action to attitude and character. The ancient law stated a principle of limited retaliation that stressed justice over vengeance. The judicial punishment was to fit the crime and not to escalate the violence in vigilante style.
Jesus took the principle a step further in dealing with the attitude of retribution. Instead of hate, anger, or revenge, Jesus stated that the righteous person should react in love, grace, and mercy.
Lord Jesus, You did not seek revenge or trade insult for insult when You were wronged. Help me to follow Your example and show Your love to others when they seek to harm and insult me.
Max Hutto is a Baptist Minister. More information can be found at www.upwardlook.org.