High and Low…

Ben Schoettel   -  


Pastor Rich here. Trigger warning—I’m going to mention a political person but I know you can handle it. Back during a presidential election in the recent past, former first lady Michelle Obama made a reference regarding the discourse going on between candidates. Her statement hit a chord. “When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: ‘When they go low, we go high’.”

Michelle Obama never met Kathy Doering. My mother was no nonsense, particularly if she caught wind of someone speaking ill of or mistreating her people. I referenced in the message my mother’s penchant for teaching us how to fight. In reality, my mother was the antithesis of the sentiments of Michelle Obama. One time (and I’ve shown this to my own boys—ask them) my mother showed me what to do if someone jumps me or tries to hit me and get into it. Here’s her instructions.

Step one, grab their fingers.

Step two, bend them back until you hear them snap.

Step three, use your other hand to poke their eyes.

Step four, kick them where it counts.

All in one motion.

Man, I miss my mom. She cared about people and she cared about me. Which is why I get really confused sometimes by Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:38-41,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 

You can listen to the sermon for the breakdown, but the gist is this…when people go low you go high. It’s hard because it goes against human nature, particularly when it feels like there’s an injustice. But the reality is—it’s representative of the kingdom of God. If Jesus is the model—-there’s a couple of things to note.

He was in fact an advocate for those who could not advocate for themselves. He routinely pushed against tyranny. However, when He died on the cross He died, “Once for all.” In the upside down nature of His kingdom, He invites us to pray instead of speak, love instead of hate, go a second mile instead of just one, and even turn the other cheek. Somehow in the economy of the Kingdom, God’s spirit uses that to cause His Kingdom to flourish all the more.

I know….it’s frustrating. As a pastor I can’t even reconcile how I feel writing that. But I’m reminded again, sometimes I need an economy lesson not based upon the pattern of this world. I join you in praying with me that we will continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds as we tackle these upside down directives for our King.

-Ask your self what the most challenging aspect of this passage is for you, specifically.

-Pray that God would give you eyes to see it as He means it.