The more I study the life of Jesus, the more I discover how much I’m not like Him. This whole ‘turn the other cheek’ thing can really grate on my nerves. I’m realizing how much I suck at it.
Take yesterday for example.
This lady cut me off in traffic.
She was spitting fire as she pulled up beside me, flashed me the finger and then swerved into my lane a mere inches from my front bumper. I know I wasn’t in the wrong, but still, my blood instantly starting boiling.
Later when we saw each other at the grocery store, she snarked, “Where’d you learn how to drive anyway, you idiot?” I didn’t say anything (I was literally biting my tongue) but I could feel my heart hardening, and that’s when Matthew 23:11-12 came flooding back in full force:
“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.”
Truth is, in that moment I was in more of the wrong than her. She didn’t know it, but I knew it and Christ knew it.
The Bible tells us to stand down and not get our backs up, but my back was up big time.
The Bible tells us to be a servant and to not seek to serve ourselves, but I was ready to knock this girl out cold for nothing more than self-satisfaction.
The Bible tells us to not worry about puffing ourselves up – a.k.a throwing driver’s training rules at her – and to simply be our (Christ representing) selves, but I was exemplifying a very ugly version of myself in that moment.
So what did I do?
I bought a Kit Kat.
I bee-lined for the parking lot, found her climbing into her vehicle, apologized for the way I handled the situation, asked her if she would forgive me and handed her the Kit Kat. I told her chocolate bars always make me feel better when someone ticks me off and I wished her a great day.
She was speechless.
In my heart I knew I had honored Christ.
Point is, reading Matthew 23:11-12 is simple. Living Matthew 23:11-12 is not. Christ is looking for more Christians to live His words and not merely read them.
It’s simple but not.