Seven Sacrifices to Joy

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

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It’s a great day for more of this journey through the Seven Sacrifices to Joy! Grab your coffee, your Red Strand of Faith, and, please, come join me as I give you a front-row seat to yet another real-life lesson He prepared for me to learn in my quest for meekness!

I don’t know about you, but when I am having a really difficult time with a really difficult person, my first reaction is not to do the celebratory happy dance and high-five my neighbor. In fact, many times I just want to run, hide and the more invested, the deeper the heart hurts! But what if I were to tell you that it is possible to do the happy dance and experience victory when dealing with a hedgehog? I have experienced freedom in this area recently and I know that I know that I know that what I endured led to a sacrifice of righteousness, but I’ll explain that a little later. It would take me on a long detour and I want to stay on track!

This truth is becoming a more beautiful reality to me as I work with hurt people who continue to hurt people. The reality of it reminds me of Jesus’ lesson on retaliation that He gave to the crowd of people on the Mount, as well as to you and me. In Matthew 5:39 He says: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

Oh, but there’s a mouthful right here. Let’s explore what it means to resist because at first glance, this doesn’t seem to make sense without any digging. I mean, I’m thinking in my initial thought process that resist can mean to turn away from but let’s see what the Greek concordance says.

Hmm, the actual Greek word is interesting: “anthistemi,” pronounced “anth-is-tay-mee” and it comes from the Greek word anti. Well, looking at the prefix, I automatically go to anti being against but hold on here; there’s more. The actual definition for this context is: to stand against, i.e., oppose, withstand.”

So if we break it down, “anti” means against, and “histemi” means to cause to stand.

So, what is Jesus telling us? Is He telling us to stand face to face with the one who slaps us on the cheek and offer the other side? Is this really a sacrifice of righteousness?

What a baffling and mind-boggling question and/or concept, one that is too hard to digest without our spiritual selves, so please remember that component as we dig to understand what in the world Jesus is telling us in Matthew 5:39!

According to Matthew Henry, that is exactly what He’s saying! He says: “The plain instruction is ‘Suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord’s keeping. And the sum of all is that Christians must avoid disputing and striving. If any say, flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort’.”

That may sound incredibly confusing, but oh my goodness; I just got a word picture! I hope with all my being that I can help you see it too! The “evil” that Jesus is referring to in this context is not the enemy himself, rather, the human acting in their flesh!!!!!

Oh, how easily I can see myself in that word picture now! Have you ever acted out of your fleshly desires or emotions, for example, out of anger or jealousy? This renders me humbled; what about you? But oh, the beauty of His grace that weaves forgiveness and favor in the tapestry of our lives, the very thread of grace having no obvious pattern for its necessity is everywhere. His mercies are new every morning because He knows we live in a tent of flesh and must resist the countless temptations to act out of our flesh!

Oh, friend, He who began a new and good work will be faithful to complete it … until the time of Christ! Stay in the journey and on the path of His grace and this tendency will decrease and your righteousness increase!

Until tomorrow,
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