I don’t get mad, I get even! I know some folks who live that way. Does that describe us? We want the right to get back at those who harm us. We want to see them get what we think they deserve. Many times we want to be the one inflicting the justice. Maybe it is time for a different response? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
An even playing field, making sure we are treated fairly is our expectation. Our country was built on the premise that we each have certain unalienable rights. That ideal has been instilled in each of us. When we are mistreated or taken advantage of we want justice. We demand things be made right. Sometimes we want to be the one exacting that justice.
What is justice? We want it for others but when the table is turned forgiveness seems like a better option for us. I remember a meeting I had once between a veteran and a young driver. The young driver was brash and bold. He drove his race car without regard for the other competitors. This veteran was on the receiving end of one of these acts of defiance. It could have cost him his life.
By all accounts the veteran could have done many things to that young driver and in the eyes of many be totally justified. Instead there was a tone of forgiveness in his voice. He talked calmly to the young man. He explained how in his early days he drove the same way. When someone drove him hard he would respond harder. He didn’t care who it was. He shared how one day he intentional crashed someone and that driver got hurt. He shared how difficult it was to go and tell the family what he had done. From that day on he lived and raced with a different agenda.
He said to the young driver that in his younger days he would have done the same thing but now knowing what he knows, he responds differently. He told the young man he was forgiven and encouraged him to change the way he drove because he didn’t want him to have to go through what he did.
Sometimes we want revenge when we should respond differently. We should show compassion and forgiveness. Maybe it is time to consider a different response. Listen to what Christ has to say about it;
Matthew 5:38-42; “You have heard that it was said, `Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Turn the other cheek, this is where it originated. We see a different response to those who treat us unjustly. Jesus gave us that instruction and encouraged us to see things differently. Especially when we are faced with the prospect of getting even. This is a very difficult instruction for us to deal with because it takes the control out of our hands. We want to decide what judgment is exercised against those who mistreat us.
If you have been following these past few weeks you will notice a consistent theme, let go and let God. You see Jesus wants us to realize that we need to turn things over to God. He wants to release us of the burden of trying to control things. Some of us are control freaks and we need to be in control of everything. Jesus wants us to relinquish control to him and live free of that burden.
If you don’t think it is a burden try releasing it. Let the day come to you. Don’t try to control things just let them happen. Let the other guy go first. Let someone cut in front of you. If you begin to get uncomfortable then you are a control freak. It is a burden.
Don’t repay evil with evil, turn the other cheek. Do the unexpected, don’t get even choose a different response. Try it out this week and see if things don’t turn out different. They will and you will be released from your desire to control things.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.