Cup of Empowerment 3/05/12

By on March 5, 2012

I am sitting here enjoying a cup of tea and thinking of “friendship” today… Oh, how I love and appreciate you! 

If you have been around me at all, you know I am a “huger,” and I will kiss your cheek whenever I get the opportunity. I learned this from both the Indian and Middle Eastern cultures, who both have the tradition of kissing on the cheek as a form of greeting! In Israel it is customary to place your right hand on the left shoulder of the person you are greeting before placing a kiss of friendship on their left cheek. (Now you know where I get that from.) This makes me think of the passage in Matthew 5:39 where Jesus is teaching us how to love. “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”   

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We have mistakenly interpreted this verse in light of our western thinking to mean if we are slapped then we should turn the other cheek to be slapped again. And yet that is not what this verse is saying, at all! Jesus is instead showing us how to overcome evil with good. He is saying that if your enemy is trying to be your enemy, instead you should offer him, in return, both friendship and love. We should offer the left cheek to be kissed, not slapped, thus transitioning them into the heart of God.  

Jesus is giving us a higher law; the law of love that trumps all others! He is saying don’t fight against evil in your own human strength; but instead move in an attitude of love, which has far greater power. This does not mean you allow injustice to take place. Not at all. Job, as a judge and God-fearing man, was motivated out of love for both the oppressed and the oppressor. In Job 29:17, he recalls how he fought for justice and snatched the prey out of the mouth of the wicked and broke their fangs! His heart was moved by love to stop the oppression, and to stop the poor behavior of the oppressor. It was all about love. 

In the verses that follow in Matt 5:40-47, Jesus continues to show examples of keeping an attitude of love and how to maintain our rightful standing and our position of authority. He then finishes with verse 48 saying, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” 

We may ask, ‘How can I be perfect as God is perfect? Is that possible?’ Well the word “perfect” in this verse may not mean what you think it means. Perfect here can also be translated to mean “complete or mature.” What He is saying is to follow the example of God and “grow up” into His likeness! He is telling us to do that by choosing to love the way He loves, and by being like Him as He is towards us. He went to great lengths to offer His cheek of friendship towards us when we were yet sinners and we were busy betraying Him with our actions and lifestyle. He did that for us, didn’t He? In fact, Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, and yet He offered Judas His cheek to kiss. Wow, think about that for a minute. 

Have you ever been wounded by a friend? Have you ever experienced a slap when you hoped for a kiss? I know that pain as well, yet I also know His love growing me up when I am willing to also love, not holding it against them. It’s been said, ‘hurting people hurt people.’ If others experienced the love of God in their place of wounded-ness, then they would not slap the cheek, they should kiss. When someone wounds us, it’s our opportunity to forgive, pray and look for ways to release the love of God to them. In doing so, it becomes our opportunity to feel the kiss of the Father, and that’s definitely worth it all!  

Extending a kiss of friendship,

He’s My Husband International

About CarolMarie Smith

CarolMarie is an international speaker and writer, she inspires audiences worldwide to bring widows into their place of power. She is the co-author of the "Widows Ministry Leadership Training" manual that has been translated into six languages and used around the world. The teachings and revelations lift off hopelessness and move the widow into their unique place of purpose as well as help leaders and ministries move into a place of greater power and blessing. A Bible teacher for over 30 years, a radio and television personality, as well as a featured writer for magazines and newspapers, CarolMarie often incorporates humor with her passion to call us to our special place in the heart of God. A widow since 1999, CarolMarie relates to the plight widows face and yet has experienced first hand the transforming presence of God that lifts off shame and moves all types of widows into intimate relationship with Him. CarolMarie is the founder of He's My Husband International, a ministry based out of Knoxville, TN. She also serves with several global ministries that have outreaches to orphans and widows, including Widows International, Matthew 10 International, and Abiding Glory.

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Cup of Empowerment 3/05/12