What stubborn people we can be! Selfish to the core, we want our way, not someone else’s . . . and certainly not God’s. Short-sighted, we see the immediate and the obvious, not the ultimate and the hidden. Easily irritated and impatient, our first reaction when taken advantage of is to retaliate, to establish a defensive posture and not give anyone an inch. Those efforts only intensify when faced with an adversary. Then we aren’t satisfied with simply standing our ground and being determined . . . getting even becomes our agenda. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offered revolutionary, even strange, advice for His people. Without pulling His punches, Jesus addressed the very best way to handle sensitive situations with those who threaten our personal rights. He offered countercultural counsel and dared us to obey. In place of retaliation, release . . . instead of hate, love . . . don’t get even, pray. It’s with this counsel in Jesus’s sermon that most people have their greatest struggles.
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