Matter Dismissed

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“We must show our Christian colors if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.”- C. S. Lewis

I watched a video of a court case over a parking ticket. It began with a woman’s plea to the judge to waive her parking ticket. The judge asked her why she feels she deserves to have the ticket forgiven. The woman shared how she was parking in a spot next to a sign that said no parking from 8-10. The ticket was issued at 9:59 and 58 seconds.

The judge turns to the officer who issued the ticket and said, “Officer Quinn, what does justice demand in this case?”

“10 o’clock means 10 o’clock, judge,” he said.

“I think 9:59 is close enough,” the judge said laughing, “Matter dismissed.”

As I thought about that video, I was reminded of the fact that, just like the judge in this case, had a different definition of justice than the officer, our God has a different definition of justice than the world does.

The world says that if someone wrongs you, you should get vengeance. An eye for an eye. If someone misses the mark, they should be punished. If someone hates you, hate them back.

But Jesus speaks of justice in different terms.

Jesus says, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

The world sees it as completely justified for you to seek revenge on someone who has hurt you. If someone hits you, hit them back. If someone forces you to do something, do the bare minimum. If someone asks to borrow something, feel no obligation to let them borrow it.

But Jesus redefines justice. He redefines how we should treat others.

Too often, as Christians, we hear these popular sayings that Jesus has preached but we rarely put it in to practice. Do we really turn the cheek when we are hurt? Do we truly hand over our coat when someone sues for our shirt? Do we go two miles when we’re forced to walk one? Do we allow people to borrow from us, even though it’s inconvenient?

It’s easy to be formed by and stray into the world’s definition of justice. It’s easy to see what we think people deserve through the lens of getting even.

But instead, turn the cheek. Hand over your coat. Go two miles. Give freely. Love your enemies.

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