(Matthew 5:38-41 KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.This is hard in marriage. It is hard at work. It is hard driving in rush hour traffic. It is hard.
Yet we are talking about one of the concepts that makes our open culture possible. We always think we are in the right. We always want the last word, the best price, and a little respect. Only by giving up those expectations will our culture endure.
Jesus noted that the old standard was “An eye for an eye,...” What is wrong with that? It never stops there. When we go for payback we always grab for more. If we, by some accident, actually get exactly what we lost, the other person feels like we took more. This is the view of finite creatures locked into our perceptions and, too often, controlled by sin. If each person demands a little more than they lost the simple bump in the hall will eventually escalate into nuclear war. Love accepts it’s losses.
This has many applications from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous. I was just asked, “How many calories in a hot dog?” My initial answer was going to be, “Turn over the package and read what it says.” Instead I gave a number. Little events like this determine if we are going to be run by pride or love.
homo unius libri