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.
Yesterday we looked at the faulty thinking behind revenge. Jesus’ command in these verses is partially about eschewing revenge, but it is also about going the extra mile with people. It is about going along with someone to help him or her see the error of his or her ways. IJM works to represent survivors of injustice by working through the court system, and they ask those in the church to teach the need for their work. While it is natural to want to do all we can to fight against justice, we are better off representing people through legal means.
Jesus taught a better way for His followers than one of revenge. Those whose hearts He has cleansed have no need to fight back. They don’t need to get even. They can give up the right to vengeance, believing that ultimately the Lord will judge all evil. When God’s people refuse to retaliate and represent people against evil instead, they show they trust God to judge all things fairly in the end. In Matthew 5:39-42, Jesus offered four examples of what it means not to fight back when evil is done. In each instance, the natural tendency to fight back is overcome by a heart changed by Christ—a heart rooted in mercy, grace, compassion, and love.
- What does the "better way" need to look like for you this week?
- How can you teach other people about what you have learned?
- Pray for those who are suffering in slavery and ask for their freedom.