Posts Tagged 'Turn the other cheek'

Turn the Other Cheek


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to resist an evil person.  But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to everyone who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” (Matthew 5: verse 38 – 42)


The natural human reaction to being slapped in the face is to respond in kind; reciprocating upon the attacker an equivalent amount of violence. Yet Jesus has instructed us to resist this temptation; and instead, to offer up our other cheek. How then does this act of submission serve to further God’s eternal kingdom? Simply put, unsaved individuals expect you to hit them back; which then leads to a brawl. As a result, any ensuing violence creates a veil; a cover that permits their evil hearts to remain hidden. However, responding to hatred with sacrificial love tears away this covering; revealing their own wickedness. Witnessing this genuine vision can convict people and lead them to repentance and salvation. Thus responding to evil with kindness is a powerful tool which serves to further the gospel message.

Some time ago I was involved in a road rage incident. While traveling at an adequate speed, I turned left into another lane. A large truck abruptly appeared behind me. The irate man clutching the wheel began honking his horn relentlessly. I eventually stopped in the left hand turn lane. The stranger pulled up beside me and exited his vehicle. After approaching my passenger’s side door he began pounding on the window as he continued directing his hateful screams toward me. Without provocation he spit on my window. During our ensuing discussion I informed him that he was speeding; a fact that I sensed he knew to be true. At any point I could’ve left my car and initiated a physical altercation. However, the Spirit took hold of my heart, causing my demeanor to abruptly shift. My agitation and frustration faded. I looked into the man’s eyes and said, “Well you have a blessed day Sir.” In that moment his anger faltered. The love in my voice had made his hatred less certain. As he attempted to continue the argument, I responded yet again, saying, “Well you have a blessed day sir.” Right then I witnessed his defensiveness flounder. I perceived in him the presence of remorse and shame. He had been convicted by my kind words. He slowly backed away, re-entered his vehicle and drove off.

Responding to hatred with more hatred is expected, but spiritually unprofitable. No amount of violence, retribution or harm can change a human heart for the better. And so we are commanded to respond to evil with affection. Only love can reveal the truth, convict hearts, and lead to the transformation and rebirth of a human soul. We cannot, of ourselves, display supernatural adoration. However, God can and will give us the mind and spirit necessary to accomplish such a daunting task. If we continue loving, giving, and following the Lord, we will participate in a great harvest and produce much fruit.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we revel in Your Holy Spirit and embrace Your calling. As we interact with the world, may we display Your supernatural love for others; returning good for evil, and kindness for hatred. May we participate in Your harvest, leading others to repentance and salvation through love. Remain in us always, as we can accomplish nothing without You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

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