Matthew 5: 38-39 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”
FORGIVENESS: In interpersonal relationships, often times we have an inkling to “get even” when we feel hurt or misused. Something about our flesh desires to take a selfish action that will equally hurt the other person. Jesus taught us a few things about how to deal with our enemies, or those who despitefully use us. His command was to love them (Matt.5:44), and the Apostle Paul says to give place for God’s wrath (Rom.12:19). So what’s the lesson? 1) Do not seek to revenge evil done to you. 2) Continue to love and keep doing good to people who continue to persecute or hurt you (it does not mean tolerate the evil being done to you).
Understand that loving a person doesn’t mean you should expose yourself to frequent assaults (verbal, emotional or physical). It means choosing to bless the person when the opportunity presents itself. What if your boss punches you in the face? Many times the loving thing to do is to excuse yourself from the situation and avoid the other person for a while in order to avoid further conflicts. Remember we are to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). Rather than internalize your hurt and anger. The antidote to negative emotions is to love. Acknowledge your hurt before God, and ask Him to help you. If possible, look for a respected and mature person to discuss the situation with so you can release the pain in a healthy way.
Do you still harbor the hurt of being mistreated in a relationship? Don’t seek to get back. First choose to forgive. Forgiveness has nothing to do with how you feel or your emotions. It’s an action taken because God’s word commands it (Mark 11:24). It takes trusting in God’s word, and having a willingness to obey to reap the rewards. Forgiveness releases you from the pain and hurt that’s being experienced, it’s an antidote to the poison of hurt and resentment. It’s the key that unlocks you from the prison of hurt, and it is a demonstration of love. Let go of the hurt, and let God handle the rest.
Scriptures to Meditate: Rom.12:17-21, Mark 11:22-24, Matt.5:43-48, Heb.12:14-15