“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (5:39-42)
As I began to read over today’s chapters, I was struck by the confidence a person with this restraint must have. No bruised ego or need to prove they can win in a fight, no fear of poverty to inhibit giving generously, no shortage of time to “go the extra mile”. This person is unshakably secure.
They don’t feel the need to do their good deeds for an audience. Their prayers can be simple, leaving the power to the LORD. They have no desire for man’s praise and they are not slaves to money. (Finding someone, these days, who isn’t a slave to money is a rare treat, especially in America. Mammon is the god we really struggle to not place above the LORD.)
So it’s no wonder when this sermon blends into a tender plea to reject anxiety.
“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (6:32-34)
The tone in 6:25-34 is so gentle. Are you not worth much more than they? Our Father has a thorough understanding of our worth. The person who also deeply understands their worth will look a lot different than the general insecure population.
Money is an obvious example, but this can translate to many applications. The person who trusts in God to abundantly provide, can give generously, without fear. The one who knows their God approves them, will not crave the cheap approval of man. This type of person is a natural light. They are salt, bringing forth the best flavors of life’s enjoyments.
What does this look like in you? Which areas of life do you still struggle with insecurity? What makes you feel like you need to fight back, get endorsed by peers, or go into self-preservation mode? Which gentle words of Jesus are water to your soul today?