What? Why does the Bible say this? Why do this in a world where there are those who will take advantage of every opportunity to step on the weak to gain the upper hand? And perhaps more importantly—How can we do it?
Resist not Evil…Turn the other cheek
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.
Really? What is Matthew talking about here.-- and four verses later when he says “be ye therefore perfect as your Father is perfect”? It should be obvious to anyone who understands the spirituality of Jesus’ teaching that Matthew is not referring to a material or physical resistance or perfection. Jesus’ whole reason for coming to spread the Good News was to differentiate between the lies of the world of the senses and the eternal world of spiritual “substance.” The omnipresent substance of God is called substance not because we can see it or touch it but because it is more real, eternal and has complete power over what we can see or touch.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Understanding this—that the substance of Spirit is far superior to matter in thought-- is key to seeing the importance of “resisting not evil.” When we resist something our minds tell us is evil, we are reinforcing our belief in its “reality”. We are strengthening its hold on our mind, where its only reality resides. By fearlessly acknowledging our spiritual connection to God and its ability to alter the world’s mutable illusion, we strengthen our faith through our victory over it.
Charles Filmore, Christian teacher of “divine Science” and co-founder of Unity, explains spiritual substance this way:
God is substance…God is the intangible essence of that which man has formed into and named matter. Matter is a mental limitation of the substance whose vital and inherent character is manifest in all life expression.
When Jesus taught “Wrestle not against the flesh,” he was, of course speaking of the complete mental focus not on the lies (illusions) of the world of the flesh but on the Truth and substance of the unseen principle of God.
The benefits of this understanding of Spirit brought complete healing to a dying Mary Baker Eddy after a spinal injury in 1866. After this healing she studied the Bible for many years to realize and teach the Christian healing process of “being absent from the body and present with the Lord.” II Corinth 5:8
Mrs. Eddy wrote in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures in 1875:
Instead of tenaciously defending the supposed rights of disease, while complaining of the suffering that disease brings, would it not be well to abandon the defense, especially when by so doing our own condition can be improved and that of other persons as well.
Two of Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements from his book of the same name, are “don’t make assumptions” and “Don’t take anything personally.” These are basic “entry level”
tools to start on the road to inner peace and prove to oneself the power of spirit over matter. They teach your mind not to assume the world or anyone in it has any real power over you and as you put these “agreements to yourself” into practice you will gain strength and spiritual power.
Also, by so doing, you will gain understanding of the spiritual nature of Jesus Christ’s teaching and a clearer understanding of the Bible.
Do not conform…to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God.
Of course defenselessness is counter intuitive to world thought. It must be to be in line with the Truth of Spirit and bring victory over the temporal world.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. To understand Christ we must do more than believe in Him, we must actually DO what he said.