Retaliation • Devotion 3

Jeremy Smith

In psychology, they teach about consequences. I always thought of a consequence as a negative or a punishment to replace my own actions. In reality, the consequence can be a negative or positive reaction. Similarly, retaliation has the same attribute. Jesus lays out in Matthew 5:38, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’” He says we all know of an “eye for an eye” and yes that may be what our initial reaction is. He then hits us with this idea of what if you tried this instead.

Being a parent with multiple kids close in age, I realize that naturally, they like to get mad at one another. For a season, I would offer to let them go outside and they could fight it out. It was similar to the eye for an eye method. They never took the offer, but in turn, we would use it as a teaching moment to explain to them the Golden Rule. Luke 6:31 explains, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” It is something we all need reminding of from time to time. We are going to have disagreements and potentially hurt others. Maybe we need to step back from the situation or find something else to do for a few moments until that initial reaction dies down. I cannot speak for everyone, but I highly doubt our initial reaction of burning someone else’s world down is going to last. In turn, would it not be easier on everyone if we learned to get along here before we are all together in eternity? I have not read anywhere in the Bible that in Heaven we are only going to interact with those who we want to, like we do here on Earth.

Jesus came and died for us so we could all be given the opportunity to live with Him forever. For the most part, He never asks much from us. He does, however, give us some great advice on how we can live amongst all people and be civil, yet still be able to stand out and reach others.






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