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Divine Imperatives September 19 Devotional

by David Joynt on September 19, 2023

MATTHEW 5:39b | 39b But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.

Violence begets violence and anger begets anger. We see the cost today of “honor codes” in the loss of life from gang violence in our inner cities. Every offense must be immediately punished or there is a loss of dignity for the one offended. To fail to respond is to display weakness and invite further abuse. This perspective not only leads to deadly encounters, it fails to acknowledge the freedom of the victim. If every offense creates an immediate and parallel response, the offended person is being “drawn in” and controlled by the aggressor. The non-violent response shows a sovereign independence, a refusal to sink to the level of the perpetrator. Non-violent resistance is also a form of strength, showing an unwillingness to perpetuate evil and a stubborn insistence on love even when others behave as enemies. Hate and anger is absorbed but not returned.


Have you ever challenged an evil doer by refusing to be drawn into a pattern of mutual harm?



Gracious God,

Don’t let me be drawn into patterns of hurt and harm. Show me creative ways to break those cycles.



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