In the Old Testament, you see these words, “And eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth” and they always speak of laws given to the nation to be used by the judges and the courts. They say the punishment should fit the crime. But it was never given to the individual to exact judgment for him or herself. As believers, we don’t have the freedom to say, “Well they did this to me, so God says it’s ok for me to do the same back to them.”
But when it comes to self, you should be willing to suffer loss to serve the Lord with a pure heart. “Does that mean I’m to be a doormat?”, some Christians will ask. I would say, what was Jesus’ attitude toward those who wronged Him? Did He retaliate towards them? What Jesus is saying here is that we should not avenge ourselves but instead trust that God will set things straight. It does not say that if we are wronged that we have no legal recourse, but that we should not lash out at someone that wrongs us.
Jesus isn’t asking us to do anything He wasn’t willing to do. Would you rather have your rights or have the heart of God? “Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
Pastor Doug Hardin