Dealing with Evil

2013-09-20 slap photoThe Law of Moses established a system of punishment for doing evil.  The Kingdom Law calls for us not to respond to evil with argument, not to seek punishment or revenge.  The Kingdom Law calls for us to respond to evil with love.

“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 an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38 to 42 NASB

Here Christ commands us not to resist (not to fight or enter into conflict with) an evil person.  He then provides us examples on how to respond to evil with love:

  • If someone slaps us on our right cheek, we should not slap back.  We should turn and offer the left cheek to slap.   A slap is a physical expression of anger not intended to inflict physical harm.  We are not to respond to anger with anger; we are to respond with love.
  • Earlier we were commanded to “make friends quickly with your opponent at law”.  Here we are given instruction on how to “make friends quickly”.  We are to give them what they are asking and more.
  • At the time of this commandment, Roman soldiers had the authority to command Israelites to carry their equipment for one mile.  At any time, an Israelite’s day could be interrupted with a request to provide physical assistance to soldiers on the march.  Christ instructs us not to just do the minimum with resentment; we are commanded to do twice of what is asked of us with love.

In summary, we are to respond to evil with love.  We are to consider the needs of others greater than our needs.  We are to consider God’s will and God’s sovereignty greater than our will and our abilities.  This allows us to reflect the purest expression of God’s love, to sacrifice our self-interest for the benefit of others.

Translate »