It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

09 November 2010

Am I Following Three Stooges Theology?

10:55 AM Posted by steve flores , No comments
I realize I’m “too young” to remember the Three Stooges, but it was a childhood favorite of mine. The show began production in 1930 and ended in 1970 and their hallmark was physical farce and extreme slapstick. I guess to a young boy, seeing a bunch of grown men acting childish, throwing pies, pulling noses, twisting ears, slapping faces, and setting up traps seemed to resonate with me. I also think growing up, as a middle child of two brothers, I was stockpiling ideas to get them back when they got on my nerves. Isn’t that what the show was about anyway, how to react when you get frustrated? I’m not bashing the show. I still enjoy it, but how should I respond when I feel taken advantage of or when I’m angry? Do I often lash out in retaliation like Moe to a Curly who, intentionally or unintentionally, got under my skin enough to anger me?

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus turns current thinking upside down – from being meek and poor and calling that blessed, to least being the greatest in the kingdom, to anger like murder, to lustful looks like adultery and now this: [Matthew 5:38-42]
"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 the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”

It’s easy to read something like this and think, “Wow, that’s crazy stuff,” and not let it influence our reactions. I think we frame our reactions to give the person something to remember – majority of the time it’s to make them hurt the way we feel we’ve been hurt. I don’t think the concept, “to give them something to remember,” is bad. I feel our motive is – it’s “me-centered”. I believe, Jesus’ intent was for us to give those who anger us “something to remember,” yet one that leaves a positive impression questioning why we decided to respond the way we did. It’s opposite of what was expected and I’m realizing Jesus is all about opposites.