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Guest Post from the Reverend - Reconciliation Not Retaliation

[My husband, the Reverend, has some rather insightful things to say once in a while. Today is one of those times:]u Confession Time: Periodically, I can be a jerk.

I am especially prone to being a jerk when someone wrongs me, particularly in a public sort of way.

Let me explain...

Not that long ago, I was getting documents apostiled for E's adoption, and the person behind the counter (we’ll call her Sally) was particularly unhelpful and unfriendly. Sally wasn’t hiding the disgust and disdain she had for me (and others).

What had we done to deserve such treatment? Nothing. Simply being born and coming to the government's facility for services they offered was cause for Sally to ooze hostility.

Nevertheless, I patiently angrily sat in the corner and waited my turn.

I reasoned: What is this chick’s deal? Does she not value the fact that she has a good job? Who does she think she is?

Finally, my number was called, my documents were given a seal, and I was on my merry way.

End of story.

Not so much. This started back up today when I read Matthew 5:38-42:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, ‘Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.’”

Hold the phone, Jesus. What you just said flies in the face of my natural reaction when wronged (i.e. “Do not resist the one who is evil”). I want the evil one to pay for their offense, but you’re telling me to turn away, give them my jacket, and walk a little further with them? Craziness. Has anyone ever told you that you’re crazy, Jesus (Mark 3:21)?

Then it hit me: I felt violated by Jesus because He was calling me out on my sin.

Plain and simple, when I’m wronged, my initial reaction should not be retaliation, but reconciliation. Not just reconciliation between her and I, but reconciliation between her and her Heavenly Father.

At first, my internal questions were very accusative, when in reality, I should have asked them humbly, with an investigative tone.

Perhaps her boss treated her that way from the beginning and it’s all she’s ever known. Maybe her parents lacked patience and raised her using sharp words, wounding her deeply. It’s possible that her husband physically and emotionally dominates her and work is the only place she feels like she has control.

Jesus, you’re not so crazy. When you had all the right in the world to guard your cheek, keep your coat and stop walking, you moved forward. You didn’t retaliate. You didn’t reciprocate.

You stayed true to your mission: reconciliation.

May I be one who does the same.

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