Your Eye for Mine

People treat their enemies in one of three ways: demonically, legalistically, or christianly. Returning evil for good is demonic. Giving back good for good and evil for evil (eye for an eye) is legalistic. Many Christians practice this second way without giving it a second thought. Someone puts out your eye and you put out his! In that case, their conduct determines yours and you’re just an echo of them. Christian practitioners live by a different code altogether, a righteousness that “surpasses”[i] all others, a third way that reciprocates good for evil.

Our social media debates about religion and politics these days are rife with eye-for-an-eye justice, or worse, my one eye for both of yours! And consider yourself lucky that I don’t consider breaking your nose (that is, your digital nose)! If you knock out one of my teeth, I can knock out all of yours and my Facebook “friends” will applaud me for it!

The law of the jungle is: For every action, there’s an unequal opposite overreaction. But Jesus, who fulfilled the spirit of the law, proposes a better way, the way of love. And if his way is not workable, “then the heart of the Sermon does not beat––it is a carcass, a dead body of doctrine.”[ii]

[i] Matthew 5:20

[ii] Jones, The Unshakable Kingdom, 150.

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