18 Jun Fight Evil with Good (Matthew 5:39) by Rich Reich
“But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” ~ Matthew 5:39 (full readings)
Rich’s Reflections: The Old Testament teaches “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Leviticus 24:20). Jesus realized that although the Old Testament system has good intentions, this lesson in negative reciprocity is impractical and only leads to escalating violence. When someone has hurt us, we feel inclined to retaliate, but who decides what is just retaliation? Will both sides of the confrontation agree to a just sentence? Jesus has a better way than vengeance to further justice and deter injustice. Jesus’ way of justice and justification is the way of the Cross. Jesus does not throw our injustices back at us, but He took them on Himself and put them to death with Him on the Cross. Jesus gets back at those who hurt Him not by returning evil for evil, but by exchanging good for evil. In fact, for every evil act, Jesus retaliates with several good ones. Jesus stops evil by converting the evildoers, not by trying to punish them. Lord, give me the courage and strength to fight evil with good by forgiving those who have trespassed against me. Amen.
* Dr. Rich Reich is the co-founder of the LIFE Group Devotions and the National LIFE Runners Team. He is married to Erica and lives in Satellite Beach, FL. Full bio.
Faith Challenge: Pray for the grace of Jesus to do the humanly impossible by forgiving those who have hurt you and showing them God’s love instead.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). AddPrayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, LIFE Runners, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. Gregory Barbarigo
Faith Quote: “Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.” – Mahatma Gandhi
* Evangelize: Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Mt 28:19.