Maybe it is a woman thing, but I really hate the idea of people talking about me. I do not want to be the topic of any discussion regardless of how good or bad I may come off. I do not want to be referenced. I do not want to be thought of. Most of all, I do not want to feel forced to react.
It is almost a natural instinct for me to want to defend myself against negativity. If a statement is made about me, that I believe to be false, of course I am going to rise up and retaliate. There is no room in my life for an inflated sense of self-preservation, thus, the key to peace is remaining virtually anonymous.
Unfortunately, in a woman’s world especially, gossip is a way of life. Each of us will be the topic of conversations. Each of us will, eventually, be the victim of ridicule or condemnation. Each of us will, definitely, be faced with a decision: Turn the other cheek or seek revenge.
“If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” – NIV
In Jesus’ code of ethics, there is no tolerance for an exaggerated sense of dignity. We are not to guard our image more than we guard our hearts. I often wonder, what leaves a better impression on our sinful culture: Forcefully defending our reputation or reacting in humility. What would we rather be known for as believers, that we were able to hold our own in the face of confrontation, or, that we were able to forgive and maintain a peaceful heart?
Jesus doesn’t tell His people to be doormats. He tells us to be reasonable. The world will always expect an eye for an eye, but no one who plays by those rules will ever stand apart. We must decide what is more important to us: a defense of our dignity, or a demonstration of the Holy Kingdom.
Revenge is the most worthless weapon in the world – David Augsburger