August 10, 2015
As a follower of Christ, we are told to be kind and generous to others. And we are asked to go further by showing that same kindness to those who have done us wrong. One of the most quoted and difficult lines in Matthew’s testimony is the Lord saying 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[h] 39 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. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42).
What does a leader do with those instructions as he is attempting to create a “Just Business” in an unjust world?
This collection of verses is from the sermon Jesus delivered “on the mount” where he is shedding new light on the term “righteousness” and the character and heart of God.
Therefore he starts this section reminding us what we already know: You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.‘ This was the proportional justice system of the day. But it led to “if you do this, I can do that” thinking that infused and informed our relationships. This could apply to both good and evil actions. I will only invite you over to my house if you invite me over to yours. If you hurt me, I am justified in hurting you. But this entraps us and inevitably hurts us in profound ways.
Jesus wanted to free us from this heart condition that entrapped us.
So, through the three examples, he asks us to free ourselves from the power of the hurt, the shirt, the outrageous demand and the borrower; all the things that others attempt to use to gain control over our emotions, our heart, our mission and, ultimately, our lives.
A Just business leader knows the difference and seeks prayer, counsel and diplomacy to guide them in confronting people caught up in evil and the deeds that they inflict on others. If we, as leaders, can get our heart right, he promises, then the decisions and actions we take will be more closely aligned with Jesus.