Returning Good for Evil: Corporal Punishment
Key Bible Verse: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
Bonus Reading: 1 Samuel 26: 1-12
An army sergeant and his buddies were all “hard men”; none harder than one corporal. But then the corporal gave his life to Christ and was baptized. He was transformed: no more booze, foul language, brawling or lascivious stories. The soldiers were first amused, then skeptical, then awed. But eventually they began to provoke the corporal with insults, jeers, vile jokes, bawdy songs, drunken truculence and threats of violence.
One day the men returned from a long day’s march, mud covered and bone weary. The sergeant pulled off his boots and collapsed on his cot. Glancing across the tent, he saw the corporal down on his knees by his cot. Irritated, he grabbed a muddy boot and flung it at the man, hitting him on the shoulder. The corporal continued to pray.
Now the sergeant, incensed, grabbed the other boot, and flung it hard at the praying man’s head. It struck home, and the corporal grunted and rubbed and rubbed his head and prayed and prayed.
Later the sergeant wakened to find the corporal gone and his own filthy boots shined and polished, sitting by his cot. That, said the sergeant, was the last straw. He, too, turned to God.
- Jim McGuiggan in Jesus, Hero of Thy Soul
What compels you to love people who hurt you?
Thought to Apply:
If you hug to yourself any resentment against anybody else, you destroy the bridge by which God would come to you.
- Peter Marshall (late Senate chaplain)
Adapted from Jesus, Hero of Thy Soul (Howard, 1998).