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.
Like the people in Jesus day, we are apt to justify our action with “an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” way of thinking. In my heart it looks like this: they spoke poorly of me therefore I can think ill of them, or they did not do what I would have done so I am not following their plan. But this way of thinking and behaving allows roots of bitterness to go deeper in the soul.
The decision to retaliate or reconcile begins in the mind. Jesus is inviting us to a new way of thinking about how to make unity a reality in our relationships. Reconciliation with one another helps us to understand at a deeper level what it means to be reconciled to the Father. The apostle Paul describes it this way:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us
to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins. ~Colossians 1:13-14
It is hard to endure some relationships. But the Holy Spirit empowers us to patiently go the extra mile with people. I am so thankful for those, who like Christ, go that gracious extra mile with me even when I am not loving generously in return. Moreover, I am so thankful for the Father who has qualified you and me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:12).
May you and I live and love with a patient and joyful perspective so that reconciliation is our daily reality.