“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. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:38-44).
In this teaching, we see Jesus telling us to put aside our fleshly emotions and reactions when we are treated badly. Even beyond that, we are to offer the love and forgiveness we have received from Christ and to remember the words of our Lord and Savior, our perfect example. What words? The words He spoke to those who mocked Him while He was on the cross: “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23:34a). The only way for us to act as Christ did instead of reacting in the flesh is to study the life of Jesus in His Word and to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us in all things. Also, reading Proverbs daily for wisdom is beneficial. This includes wisdom such as: Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” and Proverbs 19:11, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” A life of grace and kindness mixed with the wisdom of God creates a life of peace, even amongst difficult people.