An Eye for an Eye

Matthew 5: 38-42   

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other  cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

Peace and good to all.

If my share my insights on the above gospel.

What do you do when someone hurts you; when someone betrays you; when someone taunts you; insults you or inflicts pain in you? Isn’t it that your natural response or reaction is to hurt back or to retaliate. It’s like saying,  “I hurt you because you hurt me first”. Sometimes, though you are not yet in the position to retaliate, you plan for your revenge against the person/s. Do we call this human nature or human instinct? I don’t know, but we all experience this and this is where Jesus teachings come into place.

Retaliation and revenge are the usual responses to hurting and pains inflicted by others to us. But believe me, this would only compound hurt and pain. Are we happy when we hurt back another person even though how bad this person is? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. But there is peace and happiness when you follow Jesus teachings. 

So, are  we saying here that it’s okay to be victims of violence or abuse, because that is written in the scriptures and that is Jesus teaching? Certainly not.  I believe that is not the essence of the above verse. What it meant was that patience, humility and love that Jesus taught us to show with those who hurt us or to our enemies, should mean by not going to the path of revenge and retaliation against them. Vengeance is not ours, it’s God’s.

If there is abuse, put a boundary on that person to keep you safe, go and seek help from others. If a person insults or taunts you, better not to return insults or taunting, for there is no peace in that.  I know this is very hard, but this is how to stop violence, while we cannot change our enemy, we can change, however, our response to this person. But we cannot do this without Jesus for He alone has the power to tame our hearts and our minds. Jesus will give us the inner strength and wisdom we need for us to understand that “turning our other cheek” is not a sign of weakness but of self-respect.  

Our mission as a follower of Christ is to follow Jesus and do what He has directed us to do. We do not have the power to change our enemies, but we can pray for them, and ask our Lord Jesus to bless that person. This will give us peace in our heart, for sure. Focus our attention on Jesus, instead on the person who hurts us or on the pain inflicted to us. 

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