Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do the same for them – this is the Law and the Prophets – Matthew 7:12
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Christianity is a lot easier to grasp than some would have us think, especially those who profit from keeping us confused and warring with and among ourselves. The kingdom of God is within you, Jesus said. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Don’t start trouble you can’t finish.
OK, that last one is my interpretation of “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile”. I cannot bring myself to accept pacifism. I have no desire to be an aggressor or to bully and intimidate other people. My natural man’s non-aggression view is summarized well by a quote from The Shootist – “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
Yet, I believe Jesus does expect and even require me to accept wrongs and insults. He certainly accepted and endured undeserved abuse and suffering for my sake. We have all treated someone unfairly at some point so it behooves us to endure, overlook, and forgive wrongs done to us when it is a matter of personal loss or humiliation.
Conversely, I am certain the virtue of longsuffering does not mean refusing to resist those who would harm your family or deprive others of the right to life or liberty. I come back to Romans 12, where Paul tells us to detest evil but not to repay evil for evil or seek our own vengeance. He says, though, we are not to be overcome or conquered by evil. Instead we are to conquer evil with good. To me, that means protecting those for whom I am responsible, stopping those who would do wrong, and resisting those who would intimidate, manipulate, and dominate.
**I know it has been a couple of months since I have been here. There is a lot going on. Maybe it will get better.