There is much that brings us comfort in our faith. It is encouraging to know that God is near.

But there is much about faith that is demanding too. We can't simply "sleepwalk" through life, believing that God is only caring.

In these next moments, consider what God really and truly wants you to be and wants you to do.

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"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also."

Matthew 5:38-39

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Parties that are well-planned can be destroyed with drama. Celebrations are left to ruin; cakes will become stale because of drama. Faith is a party celebrating our relationship with God, but when conflicts come we must decide if drama will be the guest of honor or left outside the door.

Jesus calls us to avoid drama by addressing conflicts head-on with love and grace. Jesus knew that “an eye for an eye” only creates more drama and more tension between two people. Turning the other cheek calls us to take control and move beyond our conflicts.

Let’s not ruin the party God is planning with differences we have with others. Instead, turn the other cheek. Faith demands it.

Ed Stallworth

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Lord, let me have the faith and courage to resolve conflicts with hope and grace. May I remember that I am an instrument of your love. Amen.

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God is love, it's true.
And to follow God is to grow in love.

Watch along the path of your life today
For opportunities to yield to love.
To give in;
To place yourself at risk
For that human and most divine virtue,
The most demanding of all.

Ed Stallworth

Ed Stallworth is the youth director of Simpsonville United Methodist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He is blessed with an amazing wife, Jennifer, whom he met through Passport Camps, and has a beautiful daughter named Vivian.

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