But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
~ Matthew 5:39.
I’ve always had a problem with this verse in the Bible. Jesus gave this command as part of our “instruction manual” as to how we should live in this fallen world. But to me, this command seemed unfair. Are we supposed to just “roll over” in life and let evil have their way with us? Is that the way God created us to live…as doormats?
Recently, I was having a conversation with a trusted and insightful friend of mine. He always makes complicated things seem clear. We were discussing a couple we both knew that were having marital problems and how they were constantly fighting. He told me that “wives always catch what the husband pitches.” Meaning that if husbands are throwing “pitches” that are demeaning, insulting, degrading and disempowering…then that is what they can expect back from their wives. The opposite is also true. When husbands toss “pitches” from a place of love, thoughtfulness, caring and acceptance…then that is what they too get back…eventually. (Husbands can’t throw change ups and expect immediate results.)
So I took this “sage advice” and began to apply it to everyday life. The woman at the dry cleaners, people on an elevator, people in the grocery line, people that pass me by on the street…what if I intentionally was throwing out “pitches” of love and happiness? Would it make a difference?
Well, I’ve been doing it for several months and the results are in…. I’m not sure if my “pitches” have been caught by anyone. I seriously doubt that I have changed the woman at the dry cleaners life by sending her “pitches” of love and happiness…but something else has happened. I have been changed. I have been filled with joy, peace and gratitude as a result of intentionally moving through my day in this manner. I have experienced evil people cutting me off in traffic, being rude and all of life’s unfairness and yet…I’m full of joy!
So maybe when Jesus was giving us this instruction…it was for our benefit…because in this world…we will encounter evil…but we don’t have to be defeated by it. We can simply choose to throw a different type of “pitch.”
I hope this helps. The count is 3 and 2… Make your next “pitch” a good one!
Photo Credit: Brent Moore, https://flic.kr/p/64Awm7