Being a Shock Absorber
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
At times of civil unrest and deep cultural division, people tend to be on edge. They feel threatened and under attack. They assume a lot about their opponents and tend to attribute evil motives. Every little gesture, every little word, is scrutinized in the most negative light.
Now, in such an environment, Christians are called not to return fire but to turn the other cheek. We are called to be “shock absorbers”. In the words of the New Testament book of James, we are to follow the “wisdom from above” which is “peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy…impartial and sincere” (James 3:16-17).
However, if you’ve ever tried to do this, you will find that it feels like being a shock absorber. And here’s the rub. To be a shock absorber means you have to absorb shock. You absorb the insults, bitterness, misunderstanding, anger, irrational rage, and the heat that others are feeling. This is painful! Outrageously painful! How in the world are we to find the strength to do this? Only one way.
We look to Jesus. We are reminded that our Lord Christ came into this world to absorb all our sin. He took all the pressure and insults we could throw at Him. He absorbed the shock of our judgment and took it down to the grave.
Knowing and living in the reality of this gives us, in principle, an unlimited ability to be shock absorbers in our world.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
Matthew 5 (ESV)
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.