Today’s readings: Ruth 2:14-23; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Matthew 5:27-37
I admit, I have always read our gospel passage from a physical abuse perspective. This may be because it is the way it has always been taught or it may be that this is the easiest way to read it. It is easy to be the martyr, the one who does not strike back in the face of evil. But what about those who abuse us in non-physical ways? How hard it is to turn the other cheek when the neighbor constantly “borrows” but never returns things, when the person up the street always seems to be a few dollars short. We want to be kind when abused on occasion. But what about those who take advantage of us time after time?
Now stop and think about how God must get tired of us constantly coming to Him. Give me this; forgive me that. Then, without hardly a word of thanks, we go on our way until the next crisis. Are we too often guilty of treating God in this same way? Jesus sets before us the example of tolerance and forgiveness. So instead of becoming angry with those who abuse us, stop and give God thanks for His endless mercy.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us patience with those who misuse us and help us to always be grateful for all you do each day, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Steven King, Pastor of Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lincolnton, NC.