“You have heard that is was said, ‘Eye for 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.”  
(Matthew 5:38-39)

Following the commands of Jesus can present us with many challenges.
It means that quite often we have to set aside our natural tendencies.
This is not often easy and requires forethought on our part.
If you are a person who likes to see fairness prevail, 
it becomes even harder to follow His commands.

We have been trained by the world and our natural instincts 
are to react to issues in certain (often selfish) ways.
Unfortunately for us, the way we react is seldom in the manner Jesus instructs us to respond.
Whenever someone hits us, we want justice right now. 
We want retribution. 
We want others to pay for their wrongdoing, especially when it’s directed at us. 
What we do not want is to turn the other cheek and invite them to take another swing.

If we are under the control of the Holy Spirit and not driven by our natural inclinations, 
we may discover that it's easier to be obedient to the commands of Jesus.
The more often we conform to His commands, the easier it is 
to obey Him the next time we are faced with a situation.

Look at how Jesus says we should react when someone harms us.
Our natural reaction is to retaliate and get revenge, but Jesus says, "Don't do that".
His instructions to us are to respond with humility.
Why? Because He was the epitome of humbleness.

If we expect to become more like Him, 
then we have a requirement to develop His characteristics in our own lives.
Based on His commands, if someone takes advantage of us, 
we have to absorb their damage to us rather than seeking revenge.

Whenever we obey the Lord, we develop the ability to pray for the other person, 
even if we feel they are not worthy of our prayers.
This develops another characteristic of Jesus 
in our own lives - we learn to pray for those who despitefully use us.
That's exactly what Jesus did on the cross - He prayed for those who were crucifying Him.

Think about the last five adverse situations you faced.
How did you react to each one?
Would you say you reacted more like Jesus commanded, 
or were your responses mostly from your natural tendencies?

    "Heavenly Father, I have a sincere desire to be obey Your commands. You know me 
     and You know the areas where I struggle. I pray that You would strengthen me in 
     those areas so that I will be more obedient. My desire is to develop the
     characteristics of Jesus in my own life and I know that is impossible without
     Your help, guidance, and strength. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and help me to
     allow Him to be vibrant and alive in my life. Forgive me for the times when I
     choose to follow my own natural inclinations instead of allowing the Holy Spirit
     to guide me and influence my decisions. Teach me to respond with humility and
     give me the courage, faith and strength to turn the other cheek."

About Don Woodruff

Retired from FedEx and dedicated to sharing God's Word with others. I send out devotionals M-F and have written two books: "The Crucifixion Catalyst / Unspoken Messages From God To Believers" (published and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble **out of print**) and "I'm Saved Now What?" (unpublished). I am currently working on a third one that will be a Daily Devotional.


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