The Spiritual Principle of Nonresistance

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Do not resist one who is evil.” (Matthew 5:39)

This week I was asked if I could share some thoughts on the spiritual principle of nonresistance.

My understanding of nonresistance is that it does not mean we are to refrain from taking needed action. It means we do not react at the level of the problem. We approach our challenge from a place of strength rather than from a place of fear.

Whether it comes in the form of a person or a situation, most of us will react to a negative development with resistance. We feel threatened and we want to protect our perceived vulnerabilities, so we take the problem at face value and react accordingly.  

One of the most important pieces we will leave out of our reaction is the strength that is available to us from our own center of power. The experience of fear is like the red oil light coming on in our car. The light is telling us that it is time to add some oil. Fear is telling us it is time to replenish our strength.  

Scripture reminds us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7). Should we attack the problem by blasting it with an artillery of affirmations of power? Not according to Jesus. Such an approach might be considered the weaponization of spiritual principles. We treat the problem as a power greater than ourselves.

It has been rightfully said that we do not affirm something to make it true. We affirm it because it is true. Once we get past our initial jitters, our first job is to establish our thinking in what is true.

One way of doing this is to consider the worst-case scenario. Once we work this out in our mind and heart, we seek to move to our center of power and view the situation from this place of strength. In the beginning, we will most likely waver between strength and our old reaction of fear. We take a deep breath, bring ourselves back, and hold fast knowing this too shall pass. 

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