The Scriptures can be easily misapplied. Peter pointed out that Paul had written some tough things that people had twisted. The devil often leads us to a definition that is slightly twisted, can’t be applied, or would lead to disaster.
For example, he will define forgiveness as not having any leftover pain and as not setting any limits on those who hurt us. Well, that isn’t correct and would not work. So too, he reminds us that we are to turn the other cheek and walk the second mile, which he defines as letting others abuse us. He loves to get us to believe our only choices are to obey God or to set limits and not be abused but have God mad at us.
If you are in a troubled relationship you will tend to receive two types of advice, ” you made your bed now lay in it”, or “dump the bum and move on.” Is there a godly third alternative allowing God to assertively grab ahold of a situation by having us respond in such a way that we grab ahold of what is happening?
Turn the other cheek is for:
When attacked by surprise, roll with the punch and try to find out where they are coming from. The other expects me to counterattack and defend and is ready with the next move.
In order to grab the situation, I need to roll with the punch and say something such as, ” I appreciate your concern that I grow and become more healthy, more like Christ, and that you have come to me directly. I will give your advice a lot of thought and get back to you on how I apply it. Do you have any suggestion from your own experience that would help me?”
(First I throw out the “worthless scum” and the “hopeless case” part of their attack but consider the rest and find some way to apply it and report back.) When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Walk the second mile is for:
When another has the power to force me to do what I would rather not, but it isn’t sin— then I choose to do even more! Boy does that make them wonder if there might not be God working in me.
What trips me up the most, is when the other talks all godly, goes to church, quotes Scripture, and even talks about their walk with God but none of it shows in their actions towards me or others in their life. How does one assertively grab ahold of that situation?
Hudson Taylor was always losing his cool with fellow missionaries who were not taking the warfare seriously. He was right in his judgment but not in his attitude. He needed to assertively grab ahold of his own walk with God and invite the others to join in, while living his own walk with God with gusto.
No one, not even a spouse or pastor, has the right to tell me what to think or believe, or that I must sin, not even when misusing the, “I’m the husband and God says you must do everything I say.”
In Acts 5:29, we read how Peter disobeyed the God-given high priest rather than disobey God. Like Daniel, I may need to purpose in my heart to do things God’s way and to not sin. Then I need to cop a good attitude. Like Pilate’s wife, I need to voice my concern once and then drop it, move on focusing on God, and ministering to those around me. Bless them that curse you, do good to them that despitefully use you, give to them that are in need especially to enemies. Work enthusiastically for rotten bosses and don’t bad mouth.
I remember a wife who had married an alcoholic and was always quarreling with him to be more godly, leaving the radio on Christian stations and leaving tracts around the house. When she quit and just ministered to him, without nagging, he let her develop a ministry for women in the church.
He still wasn’t saved but that was between him and God not between him and a nagging wife. don’t try to fix the other. Instead thank God for his intentions in giving you this labor–his precious gift of a person that won’t change, a gift that will rack up more treasure in heaven and glory to God than anything else I do.
Live joyfully with all God has given me for this is my field of labor.