Jesus said things that are seemingly impossible.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “When someone slaps your face, turn your face to get slapped again.” I might think, “Yep, that’s Pastor Grant!” You might think, “Turning the other cheek, that me!”
We debate, we fight, we argue, we gossip, we condemn, and we assert our rights. Our thoughts, “Turning the other cheek is a great mystical teaching of Christ that doesn’t apply to me right now.”
I have listened to thousands of people discussing how people have offended them, but not once has a person said, “Hmmm, they are wrong but how can I turn the other cheek in a way that helps them become more like Jesus?”
When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he tied together joy and having the attitude of Jesus. Jesus considered you first; He gave up His rights as God; He served through dying; you were given salvation!
The attitude of Jesus was — we offended Him and He considered how He could sacrificially love us.
Since you won’t do it yourself, let me slap your face:
- Someone says they will do something and they fail. How can you serve them?
- Someone is unfaithful. What is the best way to forgive? Not place yourself in jeopardy — but do what is right for the other person?
Turn your face and get slapped again:
- Jesus says that we must forgive seventy times seven.
- Jesus says, “Forgive as we have been forgiven?”
Forgiving is the most difficult discipline ever. Christianity is the only religion of relational forgiveness; all other religions are works with penalty and revenge for offence. All other religions have a list of rules; Christianity has Jesus dying on the cross.
How do we restore relationships? How do we solve Middle East tensions? How do we solve racial and economic inequality? How do you revive your marriage?
Jesus gave us the example to find joy and peace. But no one likes to get slapped in the face. No one likes to turn our face and get slapped again.
I’ve been thinking lately, how I can get slapped in the face a couple of times? What can I do to serve through offence?
I want to follow the example of Jesus.