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Lesson # Matt. 5:38-40
Study Material - Matt. 5:38-40
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
38 'You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 'But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 'And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
The law of civil decision from Ex. 21, Lev. 24, and Deu. 19 is in view in these next few verses. An eye for an eye was not intended for 'controlled' retaliation, but for proper due process in a court of law, whereby an independent person, a judge, should hear the facts as presented by the quarreling parties and then render a just compensation for the loss incurred by one or both parties.
In life certainly if you have been wronged, you have the right to sue for damages. You do not have the right of self appointed revenge. Vigilante style activities are illegal and sins. The taking of the law in your own hands is a violation of due process and law and promotes criminal activity and tyranny. If everyone were to just grab their gun and go out to get even, then society would be nothing more than a Hatfield and McCoy feud.
To preserve some semblance of order in society, then God defined for us a mechanism of civil court where various actions of law and reimbursement can be determined fairly.
Now all that being said, there is a greater law in heaven. That being the law of grace. Who is really in control over history? God is. Who is really responsible for your provisional needs in life? God is. Did someone injure you or cause you loss? Did God somehow overlook that event in eternity past? Did God get taken by surprise by the loss you suffered? Well, no.
Nothing in life happens that God did not already know about. So there are two issues in view here. Your right of a hearing in court or your right to compensation for a loss incurred, verses your attitude toward the people who wronged you and your intentions against them. If someone wronged you and you are more infuriated about the whole event, then your attitude is not proper, and your motivations for revenge are distorted by your hate.
Certainly, depending on the type of loss you have suffered, you may have grief, or terrible sadness. On the other hand the loss may be more of an irritation to your feelings than the loss really amounted to. The whole point of this chapter concerns your mental attitude in life. You are to avoid sins. Pretty soon (in the last verse) we will have to deal with a state of perfection and be like God. How is that possible? Satan wanted to be like God and look where it got him. But these two things are entirely different as you probably already know - fellowship.
These verses do not say to us - lay down and be weak wimps in life and allow others to walk all over us. Quite the contrary. We are to be responsible in life and give where giving is due (that is compromise) and let bygones be bygones.
If your loss is 1000 and you are seeking 1,000,000, then you are out of line. Your attitude has crossed the field of fair compensation and you have become nothing more than a gold digger, an opportunist, someone looking for quick wealth. On the other hand if you approach the simple loss for a simple correction, then your attitude has maintained proper perspective and you do not hold ill feelings against your opponent, seeking to injure them far greater than the loss you incurred.
In some cases you can simply walk away from the loss. Probably in a lot of cases you can walk away from the loss. I know of a hot coffee spilling incident where a person spilled hot coffee and sued the restaurant for millions. Clearly an out of line law suit. Or of the person who placed the cat in a microwave to dry it off after a bath. There is no shortage of stupidity in this world. In these cases there was no one at fault but these people. But they sued for millions when millions were nowhere close to the loss.
It is far better to have an attitude of forgiveness than an attitude of vengeance. If your life depended on the outcome of a law suit, then you are better off in losing, and with your life in tact than in winning the law suit. To pursue a hate, will cause you more loss in your spiritual life, than you'll ever win in any court of law.
Your spiritual life affects not only your life here and now, but your eternal life and the rewards of eternity. Would you give up all of that just to have your short taste of revenge here on earth? So if you have a conflict, then consider just walking away from it, especially if it is really no big deal, and even more especially if you were negligent in the first place. Get taken on a get rich quick scheme? Who was the dummy in that? Pick yourself up, brush of the dust (confession), and move on.
Lost money when someone did not pay on the rent, or on the contract, or lost a loved one in an airplane accident, or lost things to a burglar? Then keep it all in perspective. Follow due process for what is fair and reasonable. Do not pursue vengeance in anger wishing greater loss on those that caused you loss. Obviously if your opponent has nothing then stop right there. No point in suing and incurring even more cost when you will get nothing out of it.
These other peoples who harmed you, will not get away with their wickedness, if that is what they intended through their acts or policies. God will see to that. Do not get impatient and try to help God. You will only be a greater loser in your own life. Your spiritual life is of the greatest importance over and above anything and everything in life. And that is the key point to remember. Your spiritual life is worth millions of billions of trillions, and that is far greater than anything you could ever hope for in your revenge. Would you sacrifice all that for less? Would you continue to pay out 1000 dollars for a 1 penny return? Of course not. So hold on to your spiritual ass.....ets and let the world go its way without you.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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