Matthew 5:38-42 – Don’t Resist An Evil Person

“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 an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”

Sure seems like Jesus is teaching here that if someone does evil to you, if you are his follower, you shouldn’t do it back. When someone talks bad about your momma, you shouldn’t say something about their momma.  When someone cuts you off in traffic, you shouldn’t speed up, tailgate and honk your horn.  Most Christians understand that they should not respond with evil in these situations – although at times it is difficult.

But what about if someone steals from you?  What about if someone threatens you?  What if someone attacks you physically?  What if one nation drops a bomb on another nation?  How do those who follow this command respond then?  To me, it doesn’t seem that there are limitations to obedience to Christ on this or any issue.  What if someone does something really bad to you, should you still forgive them 70×7?  What if you have preached the gospel earlier in the day when another perfect opportunity arises?  These might seem silly, but I highlight them to illustrate that we should always be ready and willing to obey the words of the one we have confessed as our Lord.

Bottom line, if someone does evil to you – we cannot respond with evil.  If we do, we are no different from the one who began the evil to begin with.

I have heard arguments that Jesus is not talking about physical violence when he says “if someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer up the left also” but rather that was a way of being insulted – do we have any evidence of this being true?  Or is that just an attempt at a way out of the tense situations that might arise for those who follow Christ?

I have also heard that motive plays a role in this – if someone attacks you to get your wallet, and you beat them up to stop them, you haven’t done evil because you weren’t malicious – hmm…seems like the same exact action though.  What do you think?

Clearly we resist evil by fighting against sin in our own life and we are told to “resist the devil and he will flee.”  But Jesus says we cannot resist evil with evil – because as I have said above, we become just like the evil that is being done to us.  Or perhaps as the verse says, we are not to resist evil people – because our true warfare is spiritual and that is why we do resist the devil….Thoughts?

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30 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Steve P on May 6, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Victor,

    I am in agreement with some of your points, however I wonder if part of the problem is that we are misunderstanding the context of Jesus’s remarks. Is it really “evil” to defend one’s family? Are Jesus’s words to be understood as never allowing for a Christian to defend his or her self under any circumstance? I’m not so sure anymore. I’m revisting this issue in light of new info and have linked some arguments for Christian self-defense for discussion purposes.

    Steve

    http://www.defenseissues.com/

    http://www.defenseissues.com/TurningtheOtherCheek.html

    Reply

  2. I was reading yesterday about the “myth of redemptive violence” and the author of the book made some interesting points – why do we believe that to respond to violence with violence doesn’t make the retaliation violence? Do we have Scriptural support for that perspective?

    Steve, you bring up some good questions I hope others will speak to.

    What points in my post did you agree with?

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  3. Posted by JohnO on May 23, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    We believe that because of our cultural situation. We are brought up with Western 21st Century ethics, this includes the Age of Reason and Kantian ethics. Kant declared that the “ends justify the means”. Therefore, to protect one’s family is a loving act, whatever I do toward that end – the means – is justified. Jesus on the other hand does not lay out duty-based Kantian ethics. He lays down principle-based ethics. In a principle-based system the ends do not justify the means. Therefore it is loving to protect one’s family, but it is not loving to do so with violent force.

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  4. Well stated, John. If I’m not mistaken, aren’t there even specific moves in martial arts that are designed to block and disarm, but not injure the attacker? Also there is the possibility of driving off a would-be attacker (a loud noise when a thief is trying to break in at night, for example). There are other ways to protect and defend than just “beating the crap out of the guy.”

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    • Posted by Nick on December 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      I tell you the TRUTH, do not resist an evil person. Its not about violence its about obedience. If a man breaks in to my home and kills my daughter and rapes my wife in front of me. I CANT RESIST THEM or be in sin my self. This teaching and reality is one of the hardest i have come across in the bible.

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  5. Posted by John on June 19, 2007 at 12:11 am

    So, does violence = evil?

    js
    3

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  6. Posted by Ivar on May 27, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    If a rapist comes into your home and threaten your family you wont offer him the next victim. You will stop him efficiently. If he is stopped and survives it with minimal damage then so be it, but if he is killed in the process of the struggle than it there was no other way.

    Notice that you do not wish and desire to kill him, but that you protected your family.

    This means practically that if : such a person comes knocking at the door late at night and brings again and commands one of the family members to come out and I was just going past the tool box on the way down the stairs. I would hide and when the intruder was come in to my doorstep I would knock him with the force of my hammer in the back of his head. Now he will be unconscious lying on the floor. Now we decide to not kill him but we certainly bind him and call the police.

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  7. interesting comments Ivar. Thanks for logging on.

    Do you think your strategy fits well with Jesus’ command to love one’s enemy and do good to those who hate you? Also, when someone does evil to you, don’t do evil back?

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

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    • Posted by ShinXDestiny on September 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm

      Loving your enemy doesn’t necessarily mean that you can let them do evil. How can you say that you love your brother when you ignore the evil in him? You are to protect you family, for God commands it. It is when your heart desires evil or even praises itself for causing pain that it sins. When someone does evil to you, if severe enough, you turn them to the authority of the land for God has placed them there to give judgement. There hopefully good change will happen to the person who has commited the sin. Remember that it is not the person we should hate, but the sin he has commited that we should hate, and by doing so we can teach ourselves not to sin in such a way. Keep your heart pure and filled with God’s love for they are your light. Fill your mind with God’s laws, they are your path.

      Justice corrects us in a way that can teach us to love others. So dont be afraid of it, love and justice comes hand in hand(I believe that’s the correct term…)

      But yeah, hahahaha. Just for those who dont know, dont really want to insult other’s knowledge by saying the obvious. No insults ment. And this is just what I know right now being 19, (-.-) still gots many more years of learning to go so hopefully what I said is correct and helps lots of people. God bless

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  8. Posted by dswerling on May 29, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Amen brother. Where have you been all my life?

    It’s always amazing to me how often we ignore this critical issue. The utter selflessness of Christ, the call to forgive time and time again against our very nature is such a defining point of Christianity. And yet it seems as if this incredibly central part of our faith is often ignored today. I’m glad to see other people out there noticed this too.

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  9. Posted by ShinXDestiny on September 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Oh yeah, but according to this verse I think Jesus is just saying to give more than the evil person is demanding. It kinda connects to Romans 12:20

    Romans 12:20
    On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

    Know that there is a difference between a non-believer and a “disciple”. The disciple has Jesus(eternal life, love from God, blessings, ect.) and a non-believer doesn’t. So when a non-believer does wrong towards the disciple, he does not need to worry because he already has everything that he’ll ever need, becaues God blesses those that he loves and will never allow his children to go hungry, he blesses them so much that it will over flow to all those around them. So give when you get the chance. You cant contain all God’s blessings anyways it will have to overflow.

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  10. Posted by MissCherie on October 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Whoever this ShinXDestiny is…. MAY GOD BLESS YOU!!! Your words have really made my day and your wisdom really resonates from the things you stated. I know this is really corny, but can we be email buddies? I would love to share bible scriptures and stuff with you because it has touched me just that much!!! WOW!!

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  11. Posted by ShinXDestiny on October 9, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Eh… I dont really know what to say. Wisdom comes from God, what I said was just restating what the Bible says. But if you have any questions I guess you could e-mail me and I’ll try to answer the best I can.

    Omni_Guardian_Angel@Yahoo.com

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  12. Now I am not a pacifist, and I will point out in a moment that the “turn the other cheek” passage is removed from it’s context in most applications today, but I must first affirm that Christ indeed calls us to “love our enemies and pray for and bless those that persecute us.” The Scripture also says, “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” That one convicts me personally most of the time. It’s actually easiest to be wicked when we perceive we are acting in righteous anger.

    But the verse about “turning the other cheek”…

    Most of the time reading that passage or hearing it preached we are taking it to mean an act of physical violence, such as somebody starting a fight.

    First, just being real here – who slaps somebody to really attack them or to start a fight? Isn’t that a wimp thing to do? If you really want to hurt a guy or attack them – you punch them in face, not slap them! Slapping is more a sign of disrespect or insult than an actual attack – and always has been.

    So what is this passage actually talking about? Well I’ll admit my research is second hand, but consider this: In the first century Jewish context the average Jew lived in a theocratic society – one in which the Judaic religion of the nation was intimately intertwined with the daily lives of it’s people. You were not an Israelite without being a Jew.

    This is not like in America where we are considering ourselves a “Christian nation” so most people are Christian but many are not. This is NOTHING like first century Palestine. When we talk about Israel being a Jewish religion – that means it was the official religion of the country, and to not be a Jew meant you were not part of Israel.

    So enter the practice described by Jesus in Matthew 5:38-39 of being slapped on the cheek…

    If you were a Jew at this time and ever you did something horrible enough that the Jewish religious leaders (also very much political leaders of that culture) wanted to kick you out of society, how they would do it is when you were in the temple they would ceremonially kick you out with the symbol of a physical slap in the face as you were kicked out. The implications of that were you would likely become jobless, a social outcast, if you were unmarried it is very likely you would not have been able to get a Jewish wife from your culture, etc. (not unlike believers who convert to Christianity in Muslim societies throughout the world even today*).

    So for Jesus to say this to his followers – they were realizing the implications of what he was referring to that had nothing to do with violence – it had to do with being outcast because of the Gospel. Again, something which our 21st century Western minds simply cannot even identify with in our cultural setting.

    Jesus was warning his followers there is going to come a time when you are going to be kicked out of “God’s house” in the name of God, because of the Gospel. And when that happens, you are not to defend your righteousness or to object, but to accept that form of rejection and suffering as the will of God and a testimony to those who have not yet accepted the Gospel, in hopes that they may eventually be won to it.

    I’m almost positive that it has nothing to do with actual violence.

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    • Posted by J on May 5, 2010 at 2:36 am

      doesn’t the bible say “strike” not “slap”

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    • Posted by Naas on May 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      Great cultural insight, thanks for sharing! But in light of the context, I think Jesus IS talking about issues that dealt with both violence and death, since in context he began “You have heard it said ‘and eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth…” It was referring to how they dealt with that situation in the days of old, not just current customs of the day. In fact, I wonder how they, the Pharisees and such, dealt with this particular issue during that time. They might have been following those laws still. That’s why much of Jesus’ teaching were a ‘cultural shock’ to many people, esp the Pharisees and Saducees of the day.

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  13. (sorry had to add this one to subscribe to the comments)

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  14. […] James 4:7 –Resist the devil Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   How Can I Successfully “Resist the Devil”? by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D. Sermon Summary: The bible tells us to resist the devil. Fine, but what does that actually mean? Some Christians erroneously think that determination and will power will suffice. Others shout at the devil, but with predictably discouraging results. Still others invoke “formulas” that they know in their heads but don’t truly believe in their hearts. To gain the ability to resist the devil successfully will require much of you, but the results will be dramatic! John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Summary: We have seen a number of keys to help you to victoriously resist the devil: • Be self-controlled, sober, not intoxicated. • Be alert. • Never forget that he is “your enemy the devil”. • Stand firm in faith and in “the faith”. • Live a life of humility. • Submit to God in all things. • Draw near to God daily and throughout the day. • Repent of sinful conduct. • Purify your hearts. • Remain dependent on the Lord and His mighty power. • Put on the full armor of God— salvation, the gospel, truth, righteousness, faith, His Word, and prayer. • Remember, it is the devil, it is the spiritual forces of evil — not your fellow humans — who are the real enemy that we fight. • And always remember that it is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:17) that victory over the devil is made certain. • Finally, remember how Jesus successfully resisted the wilderness temptations of Satan (Luke 4:1-13). In each instance, Jesus’ response to the devil was, “It is written!” Incorporate God’s Word, the bible, into everyfacet of your lives — into every thought, word, and action. Such a biblically grounded believer will consistently overcome the devil and his strategies. Taken from- http://www.jimfeeney.org/resistthedevil.html Matthew 5:38-42 – Don’t Resist An Evil Person Clearly we resist evil by fighting against sin in our own life and we are told to “resist the devil and he will flee.”  But Jesus says we cannot resist evil with evil – because as I have said above, we become just like the evil that is being done to us.  Or perhaps as the verse says, we are not to resist evil people – because our true warfare is spiritual and that is why we do resist the devil….Thoughts? Taken From- https://highergroundonline.wordpress.com/2007/04/24/matthew-538-42-dont-resist-an-evil-person/ […]

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  15. I ll share with you all my view on this topic and your comments about and hope that I can be of some help in provideing clearity on some of your questions .matthew-5: 38-42-dont-resist-an-evil-person/ turn the other cheek. At the begining of this chapter Matthew 5:5( King James Bible) Jesus said
    “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Definition of meek adj. , . Showing patience and humility; gentle. Easily imposed on; submissive. If you can accept this then I shall tell you. Jesus in all his teaching was showing us how to LIVE and DIE holy and rightious in a evil world that would be out to rob, destroy, and kill us. Every one according to his or her own works is judge by what in their heart . a christan protecting hs family doesn’t make him christan disciple > If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35(also luke 17:33,Matthew 16:25 ) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33 KJV) Jesus knew he and his followers would suffer >
    John 15:20 (k j v) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. Jesus also knew that the Devil would tempt & deceive all of man kind by every thing that a man loves. Money Power Friends Family Religon Sex Food Reputations. Which is why Paul wrote in the letter to the Colossians 3:2-17> Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
    3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
    12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
    Don’t resist an evil person does not mean not to resist evil or to committ evil your self you are to turn away from sin avoid walkin in the path of the unGodly (flee from it if you can)
    Ephesians 6:9-24 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
    18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.

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  16. Posted by Matthew on August 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    So if a man kidnaps, rapes, and murders your child – you’re going to offer him the other one? This is what Ghandi suggested the British allow the Nazi’s to do. When a man comes to your house to rape your wife – are you going to stand idly by? Pacifism is immoral. It allows the continuation of evil. The bible says those of you who love God must hate evil, DO NOT stand by the blood of your brother, and finally – burn evil from out of your midst. I believe those who allow evil acts to be committed when they had the power to stop them will be punished in the after life as if they had committed the act themselves.

    Paul said the ruler “does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

    Why would God need a servant to be “an agent of wrath” if we are supposed to just sit back and relax while evil people to take over the world?

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  17. Great stuff…I can’t disagree with any of the comments…just need wisdom to know when to apply each action or non-action. In my heart though, I don’t think I can sit idly by and offer up my fam, friends or anyone for an evil man to have his way with. I do hope that I could say, “take me instead.” Maybe some evil can be stopped by prayer and sacrificial living (remember that lady from Atlanta I think whose assailant was in her house and she talked him out committing more evil), and other evil can only be stopped by a greater force of someone good overpowering and subduing the evildoer. Sounds to me like an active-shooter case, or forced illegal entry into someones home while threatening violence. I just can’t stand the possibility of the immense pain in my heart if I don’t try to stop that type of murdering threat. Indeed our society has a certain level of peace because most people know that if they commit horrific evil acts they will be stopped and punished or killed. Until the day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, we can hope in God, that he may send a good man who is able to stop the evil murderous/rapists from his insane ravaging rampage. Again thanks to all for the really good reading. God bless and peace to each as the days seem more evil. Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Keep you love hot!

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  18. Posted by mlmcbride33 on August 23, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I heard a really good sermon this morning from Pastor Adrian Rogers along these lines. Also, another thought that I didn’t Post last time is this: For me, a born-again child of God, God cannot tolerate me if I choose to sin. He certainly cannot tolerate the sin in me. I am commanded to flee from sin, sin of the heart, mind, word and action. Yet, somehow in a twisted way, some would have us believe that God wants us to just allow sinners to say and do anything they want to us. As if it is OK for sinners to keep sinning against God and us, but that we should not protect ourselves or try to encourage the sinner from sinning (or the murderer from murdering or the liar from lieing). I don’t think God tolerates sin from anyone. Sin brings forth death PERIOD. Of course God is love and awaiting the sinner with open arms…and the only way to turn to God is to turn from your sin (repentance.) At the same time, the Lord commands us to forgive, to not hold on to anger that leads us to wrath, and to not take vengeance.

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  19. Posted by anon on October 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Sso how do you ‘turn the cheek’; to a person who purports to be a believer in God, a spiritualist, a faith-healer who has wreaked havoc, and destroyed so many lives with lies and conning people, not only with his own parents and brothers but son and other partners and their children over a period of 55 years? To me that is pure evil.

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  20. Posted by Craig on January 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I noticed your posts on this subject and wanted to chime in if it is ok. I posted just a couple things to consider in making this important descision. Pray I also make the right one if the time comes.For now I have a sword on my person and hope never to use or need it. Legally of course. permit. I see many places in scripture where the people of God were allowed and even commanded to defend themselves.

    “‘When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?’ So they said, ‘Nothing.’ Then He said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one'” (Luke 22:35-36). Jesus knew that thieves preyed upon travelers (Luke 10:30), so He urged His disciples to prepare accordingly. So important was this point that He taught them it was better to be armed than clothed.

    Since two swords among the twelve was deemed a sufficient quantity (Luke 22:38), it is evident the Lord did not want them armed for aggressive, but defensive purposes. Nonetheless, they were armed. Some have argued that these swords were nothing more than pocket knives – tools rather than weapons, but such a claim only proves the ignorance of those who would argue such. The Greek word translated “sword” in this text is always translated “sword” and is unquestionably a weapon used for killing (Acts 12:2; 16:27; Hebrews 11:34, 37).

    Notice that, when prompted, the disciples were able to immediately say, “Lord, look, here are two swords” (Luke 22:38). They didn’t even need to sell their cloaks in order to acquire these weapons; they already had them, meaning that Jesus kept regular company with armed civilians.

    While we conclude that gun ownership is not at all inconsistent with discipleship, it is imperative to remember that Christians wield a far more powerful weapon: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), “for the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
    Ecclesiasties 3 There is a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to build up and a time to tear down.

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  21. Posted by ange on April 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Im sharing something that happend to me just a few months ago. I was in an evil situation and a relationship. I was with this man for 5 years and had a beautiful daughter out of it. Im 25 years old. this man had so much evil in him I could see it through his eye’s and his action’s when I did not give him what he wanted he started to beat on me and I was praying and trying to grab my child and flee but, the guy grabed my child holding her and squeezing her and fighting me with her in his hands

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  22. Posted by ange on April 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I started to pray because I could fell something bad going to happend. then he layed my child down and started to beat on me through my body all around my home crushed my feet slammed my head back into the floor all at once. then he took his hands and put them over my mouth and held my nose together with his fingures. I looked him in his eyes with fear from the lord praying and letting this man hit me thank god im alive I should have been dead but, allowing god live in you and fearing god God is with you!!

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  23. Posted by Naas on May 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    We don’t hold the keys to life and death, Jesus does. I think it’s hard for us who live in these bodies to comprehend life and death, good and evil and how it effects the overall scheme of things in God’s eyes. He sees the grand scheme of things. His ways are not our ways. So all we can do in obeying GOD, who is not a man or woman but Spirit, is trust Him with our lives when he says not to resist a person who does evil to us or anyone of us. Your wife and kids, they are each individually accountable to God…we do not own them, God does, even though we feel responsible for them. But ultimately, God is in control, we just need to trust that fact. To stand their and face your death because you trust God with your life, I believe that’s a life of faith!

    Psalm 116:115 says “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Jesus went willingly to the cross in obedience to the Father, and I guarantee it was precious to Him! And I believe this is also our example, to willingly lay down our lives for the Father. Think about it…if Jesus, who was GOD in the flesh, didn’t resist when they beat him and crucified him, doesn’t He expect the same from those who follow Him, although we could resist and fight and save our lives on the earth?

    Listen, we live in enemy territory literally, where ‘the god of this age’ rules, Satan. There is evil everywhere, we live in a dark and fallen world my friends. Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den…today we practically LIVE in a lion’s den with evil at every turn! So instead of trying to fight all this evil everyday, God has a better solution; don’t resist, stand strong in MY might and be a light that brings hope to this fallen world that is perishing. There’s no use trying to fight and fend off all evil men…that battle the Lord deals with, vengeance is His!

    Just some thoughts of mine this morning, hope I’ve made sense! 🙂

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  24. Posted by Richard H on October 2, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Now, there must be a difference between resisting evil and non-violence? Is it that we should constantly show the way of love and not be caught with our own self pride or materialism so that we are a beacon of light in our examples?

    Hence, if we are being intimidated, abused or a victim of some injustice then I think Jesus is saying be humble, look past these things and search for the goodness and lead by example of showing understanding and forgiveness i.e. love your enemy. Not an easy task and not easily recognised as a virtue in today’s world, but our Christian ideal nevertheless.

    However, I don’t think we should be putting ourselves in harms way. Is it right that we should have boundaries and show by our resistance that a wrong is a wrong? Did Jesus not rebuke James & John (Luke 9:51-56) not because they proposed an evil act, but rather an unloving act? Jesus saw that the inhospitality of the Samaritan town was due to their cultural dislike of Jews and generational ignorance. He may have felt that had they been enlightened they would have provided lodgings. Hence, they were not “bad” or “evil” people, but rather not yet enlightened. That there is the kernel of salvation in everyone.

    However, do we have a responsibility to stand firm against injustice or do we passively accept it and leave it to God to change their hearts; particularly in light of some many biblical references of “turning the other cheek”? Should we not resist or correct someone who will do harm or under take deceit? Is it not about correcting the behaviour in a loving way and not condemning the person? The paradigm of the old testament was very much about fear of God and retribution, whereas the new testament is about reconciling ourselves and the world to God. Kindness and justice are crucial here.

    A loving parent knows this all to well and often turns the cheek at childish misdemeanours yet has clear boundaries for everyone’s welfare. However, the world is a bigger stage and maybe Jesus is asking us to do this on a larger scale. For example, should we not be the voice of reason and justice in society and our world and speak up against exploitation, abuse and violence? As others have pointed out in this blog God has given certain authorities to us. Some of us are leaders in our families, groups, communities and businesses. We should use this authority to point out that good and evil has consequences. We have a duty to lovingly point people to the path of salvation by correcting their obvious wrongs, resisting injustice and helping them (and ourselves) find the good inside.

    Reply

    • Posted by Richard H on October 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

      Sorry typo above… “particularly in light of some many biblical references”

      should be

      “particularly in light of so many biblical references”

      … there’s that humanity thing again 🙂

      Reply

  25. James 5:6. Rebuking the rich person…
    You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

    Reply

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