Last week, I was walking across a street in the crosswalk and a car was turning left wanting to get beyond me so he could proceed. He was in a hurry and I’m sure he was a very important person on a mission of great urgency. But I was having none of it as I raised my arms in anger at what I perceived was his need for me to get out of his way.I had the right of way... who did he think he was?
Well, he yelled obscene profanities at me, telling me in no uncertain terms what he thought of my gesture. I clearly did not “turn the other cheek” but escalated the anger of the driver, and my words back to him were not rooted in the gospel...at all!!!
Jesus teaches us disciples an invaluable lesson in how to respond to angry situations when we are wronged, even if we are justified in our anger. I had the right of way, after all, and was justified in raising my arms in anger. Christ wants more of me than that. He wants each of us to let go of the need to retaliate or get back when wronged.
Jesus even wants us to go the extra mile and give the additional warm jacket to one who asks. We are to check our negative impulses and respond, NOT REACT, to every negative situation and person. I have a lot of work to do.