Simple Devotions
For the Complex Life


Today the world is full of phrases like "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," and "revenge is best served cold." However, the message that Jesus preached was much, much different. Jesus said, "Bless those who curse you," and to "turn the other cheek." He even went as far as to say, "If anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back." (Luke 6:28-30) Yet, the world we live in demands payback.

Perhaps one of the greatest tragedies in the past decade was the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. I remember being glued to the TV, horrified at what was happening, and I remember how sad and angry it made me. I remember wanting revenge, wanting someone to pay for what they did... I also remember a friend of mine, who was an Arab, having his shop window broken because of this anger. I remember seeing innocent people beaten and properties vandalized, because someone wanted revenge.

As much as we want revenge, we often take it out on the innocent, or return their deeds 7 fold. Instead of simply seeking justice, we try to hurt them more, to make them pay for their actions. We often forget that we are not fighting the person, we are not hating the flesh or the being, but rather the acts of evil (Ephesians 6:12).

There are many different kinds of "trespasses" that we face in our lives, some are those by friends who say harsh things, or betray our trust... some are by strangers who treat us with disrespect or unfairness... and some, such as September 11th are indescribable. But rather than lashing out with anger (Proverbs 29:11), or seeking revenge (Leviticus 19:18), we should be seeking to share God's love, and willing to "turn the other cheek."