But he hit me!!!!
You’re older. You can take it.
“But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.”
Donâ€™t you just hate it when justice isnâ€™t done, when someone wrongs you and they donâ€™t get whatâ€™s coming to them?
In the words above we may find a childhood memory. The young people here may recall saying and hearing the same thing recently. Dad or mom step in and tell us to act our age, take it. There might be some discipline involved, but it is never really satisfying to us. Once someone has hurt or wronged us they cannot take it back. They cannot put the genie back in the bottle or the toothpaste back in the tube.
This is the problem of sin.
Holy Scripture describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God’s law (1 John 3:4). It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. The original translation of â€œsinâ€ is “to miss the mark” of God’s holy standard of righteousness.
If someone hates us, curses us, acts as an enemy, abuses us, hits us, or takes our stuff our natural reaction, based on our tendency to sin, is to do the same. Hit back, take their stuff, punish them, and wage war. Doing all that perpetuates sin.
Think of it this way, if someone passes me in their car, cuts me off, honks at me, and is otherwise rude and annoying, what do I feel like doing? My broken self calls out to do the same to them, or even to others. I might be so perturbed that later that day I let a door slam in someoneâ€™s face, I fail to hold the elevator, or I give someone a dirty look. What do they do? More of the same! On and on, sin perpetuating the next sin.
Jesusâ€™s instructions break that cycle. They call us to live holy and righteous lives without sin. We live as light in the face of darkness, responding differently.
Jesus is telling us to act our age. He considers us to be the older children of His body. As such we need to act maturely in the face of sin. When the rude driver cuts us off, we need to say a prayer for them and do additional acts of kindness. In doing so we have followed Jesusâ€™ instructions. In doing this we trust in Godâ€™s justice. We canâ€™t put others toothpaste back in the tube, but we can make sure ours doesnâ€™t get out. Doing that, we are on the mark, hitting God’s holy standard of righteousness.