Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury. 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheeck, offer the other cheeck also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask and dont turn away those who borrow." -Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)

KEY VERSE:// "And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life." -Matthew 5:41 (MSG) hard is that? I was reading part of the "sermon on the mount" this morning in Matthew 5, and had to stop and really think about that key verse. If someone takes advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. I dont know about you, but if someone is taking advantage of me, I do not take it lightly. Not only does it hurt, but I get defensive! Who do they think they are and why do they think they have the right to walk all over me? I deserve respect, right?

Thats always our initial thought when someone isnt treating us right. We escape relationships because "we deserve to be treated better" and all the other person does is "take without giving". I mean, we dont have to put up with this right? We deserve better, dont we?

There is a fine line between pride and maintaining personal dignity. Pride says "YOU dont get to walk all over me and treat me like your doormat," dignity says "I know who I am, I wont let the way you treat and view me hinder the way I view and respect myself". I feel like the lie of the world is telling us that "we deserve better" than to be treated like "doormat," but when we look at Jesus, and the way he was treated, and what he endured for us, what do we really deserve? I mean Jesus deserved everything opposite of what he recieved, yet he still allowed people to walk all over him. Why? Because he didnt come to sit on a throne. He came to be a servant, knowing he already had a throne and knowing his identity. 

Picture a servant right now. I'm picturing a scrawny, weak woman. Messy, natty hair. Dirty. Exhausted, with dark circles under her eyes. Minding her own business, but yet attentive to every need of others. This is the picture of a servant. This is the picture that Jesus came to display. Whats the difference between us as servants, and the picture we see in our head of a servant? We have fire in our eyes. We have passion. We have hope. We have confidence. We have identity, and we have honor because of our servant life on earth. We know that as we become less, He becomes greater. We know that the least on earth are the greatest in heaven. We know who we are, because we know who He is. 

This is so hard for me to do. To, when being disrespected, walked all over, and treated as a 'doormat',  use it as an opportunity to practice the servant life. To turn our cheeck, to lift up our eyes to the one who knows our value and worth. This is servanthood.

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