You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 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. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Look, God, I ain’t doin’ it. I ain’t gonna just sit around and be slapped and kicked by an evil person. Like, why would I do that?. . .
. . .
Ok, well, you did say “if”… “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek…” so, it’s not like I’m deliberately putting myself in the position to be slapped. It’s only “if” it just so happens to occur that I get slapped by, or robbed by, or forced to do something by, an evil person. It’s not like I’m going around trying to get slapped. And it’s not like I have to keep myself in a position to continually get slapped. So like, if it occurs, I guess what you’re saying primarily, is don’t slap or rob or enslave someone back as a form of vengeance or quick anger. Just, let ’em do it again if they’re gonna. But then, high-tail it outta there and leave ’em alone, instead o’ strikin’ ’em back.
If I am gonna hit ’em with anything, it’s gotta be with prayer, love, sunshine, refreshing rain. If I am a daughter or son of God, then I’ve got to act like God, and God’s love and sun and rain pours on everyone – the good and the evil. It’s not just the good, lovely people that I’ve got to do good to and pray for and pour blessings onto. In fact, when I pour out goodness on the evil, that’s what helps to change and transform evil.
Father, thank you for your word and your command to love even our enemies. Help us to do it, by your spirit and your strength living inside of us. Amen.