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Screaming for my “rights”?

by | Sep 29, 2023 | Genuine Hope | 0 comments

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6: 27-31

I’ve heard some intentionally twist the Golden Rule found in the last verse above and, also in Matthew 7:12, by saying “Do unto others before they do so unto you.” That is clearly not the point, but it does more accurately reflect our nature, doesn’t it?

Coffman’s Commentary provides this insight into the passage above. Consider this paragraph, especially the bolded sentence:

“The principles taught here are non-resistance to evil, the overcoming of evil with good, and patient submissiveness to encroachment against one’s personal rights. Ours is an era when men are screaming demands for their “rights”; but the Christian way includes the renunciation of rights, rather than the violent defense of them. It is not indicated that Christ intended such an attitude to be maintained absolutely under all conditions. The application of them to the conduct of the Christian, however, should be as extensive as possible, and much further, no doubt than is usually the case.”

Like the persecution mentioned earlier in the Sermon on the Plain,” the response here is counterintuitive for human beings. We are more likely to retaliate in most cases, but I wonder if the example of turning the other cheek isn’t disarming to our enemies as well?

Paul instructed the Romans as well:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:17-18

Let’s make it our air to live at peace with everyone.


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