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LIVING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE

February 13, 2014

Thursday

Matthew 5:38-48 

“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.

 

EXAMPLE

Many years ago during a Knicks-Bullets playoff game, one of the Bullets came up from behind the great Walt Frazier and punched him in the face. Strangely, the referee called a foul on Frazier. Frazier didn’t complain. His expression never changed. He simply called for the ball and put in seven straight shots to win the game, an amazing display of productive anger. If you want to get huffy about it, it was a great moral lesson as well.

– U.S. News & World Report

 

LESSON

Most of us have been offended or put down in some way. How do you respond to mistreatment? Do you respond in-kind? If so, have you come to regret such a reaction? Perhaps you prayed about it, or a brother or sister in Christ helped you see the potential for a better response. On what would you base a different response, if not on God’s idea of loving others?

It is from Jesus’ words  that Martin Luther King, Jr. developed the practice of non-violence as a means of effective protest. Just as Jesus reinterpreted the biblical laws for his day, King put into practice their relevance for his own day. For King and others, Jesus’ words were meant to be taken literally. Though not all Christians have responded in this way, a plan to retaliate evil with love was central to King’s mission.

 

Memory Verse: Matthew 18:15

 

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