Retaliation #6 – The Will or Thy Will
Noble Baird | Guest Services Director
On February 27, 2013, my grandpa passed away. Sadly, I was away at college when this happened, and I did not get the chance to say goodbye to him. We had a private funeral with just family. However, this was only the beginning of the heartbreak that was to affect my family. My grandpa never left a will behind to specify what would be done with all of his belongings. Having six children, five of which are in state and one that is out, you can imagine how this could be problematic; and it was. Not long after my grandpa’s funeral, my mother received a letter from an attorney hired by two of my aunts and my uncle. My mother was the head of my grandpa’s estate, which he had put in place years before his passing. This letter was the beginning of what has now been over three-year legal battle.
In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus talks about this concept of retaliation. He paints a picture of what it physically looks like. In verse 39, He says, “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
As followers of Christ, we are called to be His example to those around us. Not simply in the way we talk but in every aspect of our lives. Paul tells us this in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” When Paul was writing this, he was writing to his younger apprentice Timothy. Although it talks about “your youth,” this is applicable to all of us as followers of Christ in how we ought to live our lives. We ought to set an example to both believer and non-believers alike, by living a life that is reflective and glorifying Christ.
For me, my mother has been the greatest example of what Jesus teaches here. Throughout the chaos and heartache of this journey my mother has been on, she has endured. Paul writes about this endurance in Romans 5:3-5, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” My mother has endured, so that she can be an example of Christ’s love to her brother and sisters.
So, how will you react? When someone hurts you, will you retaliate or turn the other cheek? Instead of harsh words, will you pray for them? Instead of raising a fist, will you embrace them in a hug? Remember to endure in the example you are setting in Christ.