Somewhere in the materials of Oswald Chambers there is a stunning statement to the following effect:
“As a disciple you must be prepared repeatedly to give up your right to be right for the greater glory of Jesus.”
Look to Calvary and realize that the only One who was completely right in the scenario was the One hanging in anguish between the two thieves. He had the appearance of malefactor and He had volunteered Himself into that situation.
I love the scene in Mel Gibson’s movie where Simon of Cyrene is pressed by Roman soldiers into carrying the cross for Jesus. The look on the man’s face is one of contempt for the battered Focus of the march. Why should he have to be identified with such a miscreant.? Jesus says nothing to him. Looks into his eyes. Steels Himself to continue the march up the Hill; just as if He had His own agenda. Simon is changed and realizes that his most important task is to get Jesus to that destination. In later years he will remember the experience as the focal and greatest moment of his life.
We too must be prepared to be the brunt of rude remarks, the doormat, the withholder of any retaliation so that others might get a closer look at the real God kind of love – agape. Unconditional. Bound to bless no matter what. All else is tooth and claw. Only a heart’s unflinching dedication to the Man Jesus firstly and to His ethic in Matthew chapters 5 through 7 secondly will make such love possible and sustainable. (I Corinthians 13).
It is what transforms the world from darkness, one hurting, searching heart at a time. And deep inside every man knows that this is as it should be.
Retaliation? Snappy answers for self-vindication? Be a serpent. Nope. Don’t go there! Be a dove. For Christ’s sake.
The Spirit, and only the Spirit will enable this.
The “thank you’s” come later.