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Let go and live your life

POSTED: December 16, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’[f] 39 But I tell you, don’t stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also. 40 If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles.
I have been pondering this passage over the last month or so, and realize that these few versus probably contain some of the most misunderstood statements made in scripture. 
The “eye for an eye” has so often been used to justify taking revenge on someone who has hurt us, when in reality it was intended to prevent acts of vengeance in favor of justice. 
The turn the other cheek statement has often been taken to the opposite extreme leaving Christians feeling helpless in the face of an attack. 
Yet Jesus was saying something very different. 
If you have ever tried to get justice when dealing with a person who is willing to use whatever means necessary to get their way, you know that it is a never ending battle, one that will take all of your strength and generally leave you feeling completely exhausted. 
Jesus points to a different way that is about us recognizing our own strength. By turning the other cheek we show that we are not affected by the painful action of the other person. Just as giving more than is required shows that the loss did not hurt as much as intended, and walking the extra mile shows that we are not a slave but a free person able to act independently. 
These actions remind us that no one can take away the value we have received through Christ. Adding to this, by avoiding a battle we will never win by honest methods, leaves us free to live our lives. 
Jesus showed us we only lose our power if we give it up. In this passage he tells us not to give it up but rather to claim it in a way that does not put us in a constant battle that will ultimately wear us out. 
By letting go and not letting anger and frustration rule our lives we are free to live it abundantly. 

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