"If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also." Luke 6:29
Davenport, Iowa's KWQC news reported Saturday that "A bit of confusion and fighting happened between elite runners during the Bix 7 Road Race Saturday morning." According to the report, Silas Kipruto, irritated with Teshome Mekonen trailing him so closely, turned around and attempted to slap him. With a time of 33:03 Kipruto did end up winning the race. Mekonen, very upset about the incident, protested the win but was turned down.
While most of us will never follow an elite runner so closely that they will slap us, chances are we have done or will do something that might get us smacked or smited. If that were to happen, as Christians, how should we react? In Luke 6:29, Jesus said, "If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also." Is he telling us that we are not to defend ourselves or that we are to let others take advantage of us? Of course not. We are instead being instructed to give up any motivation for personal revenge when someone wrongs us-we are to be motivated by love instead, hoping our reaction will lead the other person to repent and follow Christ. Rather than seeking retaliation, you and I are to do good to those who wrong us-loving, forgiving and praying for them.
Taking this approach that's so different from what the world expects often opens opportunities to share the Gospel. You see, when we respond in a manner that is unnatural, people will want to know why. And it's then that we can tell them about Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your Holy Spirit that gives us love where the world has hate and peace when the world would have dissension. Help us to stand apart from others and to imitate your example of loving our enemies even when it is hard. It's in your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen,