Sunday, August 18, 2013

Turn the other Cheek?

You've heard it said many times before when you felt someone treated you unfairly.

Turn the other cheek.

It sounds like the right thing to do,  but is it really that easy?  After all, Jesus could do it because he was the Son Of God.  If you were the Son Of God you could do the same thing, couldn't you?

If you spent your life turning the other cheek you would be called things like a wimp, pushover, doormat, etc.  On top of that letting all those feeling harbor inside you might "create a monster."  How many times do doctors ask you how you feel or to express it somehow?

Personally it seems like always letting things go will just make the other person more likely to keep doing the same thing and when the repressed feelings eventually come out (years later) it could get ugly. What kind of significant meaning would life have to not defend your position?

In this post I will attempt to respond to my own question.

1.  First it is questionable territory to judge God's word, and even dangerous territory.
Human beings are the created, and not the creators.  Humans do not know the whole picture.  Since God knows the larger picture better than humans it makes sense to listen to his way of doing things.

2.  God is not asking you to be a doormat.
"Turning  the other cheek" sounds like you are backing down and letting the other person have their way.  God, however, is not asking you to just lie down and let the other person do whatever they want to you.  God is saying that you can state your position without escalating a disagreement.  If it seems no resolution is possible then walk away.

3.  Following God is a lighter "yoke" than following the world.
When humans make bad choices the results can be devastating.  Most people have experienced this in some way.  Following God can seem restrictive, like your friends are turning on you and make earthly life more difficult.  Jesus tells people that following his way is easier for you overall than following your own way, even if it does not seem like it.

4.  It is in your best interest.
The Bible was written as a guide for you to follow.  God created you and knows what is best for you.  The Bible tells people that following Jesus will not be an easy life.  In the end, though, it is the way to salvation for eternity.

The Bible seems to be stating this is the best way of responding to certain situations, even if it is not the way you would think to do it.

Turning the other cheek might not be the natural, human way of looking at things.  After all don't psychologists say to "get in touch with your feelings?"  The way of Jesus sounds a person should deny their feelings and it goes against instinct.  Interpreting the word of God would indicate that you only deny your feelings in the immediate circumstance to avoid escalating a problem unnecessarily.

Do YOU look the other way?

This adds meaning to life because:  Doing things the human way often involves protecting your own position in a disagreement, which can escalate things and cause more problems.  Following the way of Jesus can be better for you and others in the long term.

You might also be interested in:
Christian Doormat
A Christian Approach To Conflict Resolution
Why Jesus Taught Turn The Other Cheek
Do You Notice The Good In Others?

Author:  Albert Wagner