Do you find that turning the other cheek is next to impossible to do at times? Isn’t it painful when our “other cheek” takes a hit as well?
If someone insults or criticizes us, isn’t the first thing we want to do is get them back? Or defend our bruised ego by confronting them to tell them how wrong they are? Isn’t it in our genes to make sure folks know we’re right?
That’s been me a lot, I’ll admit.
But, Jesus had another idea.
“The Bible says,‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39 ESV.
Jesus didn’t defend Himself. He was an instrument of the peace that passes all understanding. Jesus defended His Father’s word, not by arguing or debating. Jesus defended His Father’s word by the way He lived and how He responded to everyone.
Jesus had an incredibly big other cheek. He suffered the worst verbal abuse anyone could suffer, and responded with love every time.
We don’t have to defend the Gospel. We don’t have to win arguments with atheists or non-believers. We don’t have to “be right”. As much as we think it might sting, as much as it’s against our nature, as much as we don’t want to, Jesus commands us to turn the other cheek. And we do that with another command of our Savior,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And a second one is like this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”