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10 Days of Awe


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"How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4 "How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted. 5 "How blessed are the meek! for they will inherit the Land!k 6 "How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness! for they will be filled. 7 "How blessed are those who show mercy! for they will be shown mercy. 8 "How blessed are the pure in heart! for they will see God. 9 "How blessed are those who make peace! for they will be called sons of God.

But I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, `You good-for-nothing!' will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, `Fool!' incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom! 23 So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift.

What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! 47 And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! 48 Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.

Don't judge, so that you won't be judged. 2 For the way you judge others is how you will be judged -- the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you. 3 Why do you see the splinter in your brother's eye but not notice the log in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the splinter out of your eye,' when you have the log in your own eye?

Edited by Abigail
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usaid: I wonder though--does a soft answer work with a bully or an abusive person?

Aggressive people arent always bullies. I think I am a tad aggresive, but a bully is persistent without reason. How does a soft answer affect aggressive people? In my case it makes little difference, unless that answer has some reason to it. People that are nice can be the most deceptive of all don't you think? I mean VPW he sured sounded like a nice person. Now if your talking about wrath or heated anger, yeah I think that would slow that down.

Or do they interpret it as getting what they want from their aggression?

Some do some don't. I would think that someone who is at all caring would slow up some to see what the soft answer is for.

Anyway your questions were so good I had to get my 2 cents worth in.

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I have gone from accepting and believing I deserved what was dealt me to saying enough is enough and being angry. This was done with you Abi seeing every phase and supporting me both in public and in private. The soft answer which I gave for years was not from the healthy place of confidence but of fear. So now I seek that manner again but from a place of mental health.

I believe Jesus Christ was angry for the right reasons rather than from frustration or emotional driving. You spoke of it as I understood it. He was justly angry and wanted the ones with eyes and ears to learn, knowing the leaders were fairly blind anyway.

I never understood peace from saying it like it was and then moving on as I do today. Now though is the time to learn to say it less aggressively and still have the same impact.

Thank you for sharing a precious part of your life and faith at a time when the board seems especially hot with emotions towards each other.

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You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an

evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . .(Matthew 5:38-48).

According to many translations, Jesus instructs his disciples, "do not resist him who is evil"

(Matthew 5:39, NASB). This is mistaken. What Jesus says is "do not resist by evil means."

Jesus resisted evil, but he resisted evil by doing good. He calls us to the same kind of resistance.

Jesus quotes from the Old Testament lex talionis, the "law of retribution" (v. 38; cf. Exodus 21:24;

Leviticus 24:20). He doesn't dismiss it so much as suggest a paradoxical fulfillment of this law. A slap

on the right cheek is a backhanded slap, an insulting slap rather than a danger to life and limb. Instead

of carrying out retribution by returning a slap for a slap, Jesus calls his disciples to bear the burden of

retribution and offer to receive a second slap. The "double restitution" comes back on the disciple, who

bears the punishment on behalf of the one who assaults him. Just like Jesus.

Many have taken these instructions to be about "non-resistance," but that's inaccurate. Jesus is not

telling us to "take it," glowering resentfully as we get beaten to a pulp. Jesus is teaching a form of

resistance, but a form of resistance in which good triumphs over evil. Instead of perpetuating insults

and blows, Jesus teaches his disciples to act in a surprising way that brings an end to the cycle. Following

these instructions also, subtly, restores the dignity of the person under assault. Instead of being a victim

of an unwanted blow, the disciple takes initiative into his own hands – he offers his cheek, he removes his

undershirt, he goes a second mile, he gives to whoever demands (vv. 40-42). In doing so, he exposes the

bully for the brute that he is, turning the tables in a way that brings shame on the oppressor. Slapping

might make the slapper look virile. Slapping someone who's willing to be slapped makes the slapper look

cruel (think of the attack dogs of the Civil Rights Movement).

Jesus challenges the perversion of loving only those who love you (vv. 46-47). We are to love those

near to us (cf. Galatians 6:10), but if our love is restricted by blood, race, kinship, church membership,

or whatever, it is no better than the love of Gentiles and tax-collectors. It is not the righteous love that

surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees.

--Peter Leithart

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