Hey, brothers and sisters.
I wanted to share my thoughts on the application of turning the other cheek.
Matthew 5:39 (NIV) – But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
Now let’s give the scripture context;
Jesus was sharing teachings on the correct application of the law of Moses known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5 – 7) which is essentially showing the Israelites the Spirit of the Law as opposed to the Pharisees misinterpretation of it. (Please have a look for yourselves, you won’t be disappointed!)
Now, let’s use a simple example: a heated argument amongst friends. Friend A’s temper hits a breaking point and lashes out either verbally or physically to Friend B. Both individuals are Christians.
Now we all know that violence against one another (or anyone else for that matter) is not permitted. So what is the lesson here? What is the significance of this passage?
I believe that it allows space for a person to think about what they did and to re-evaluate on what they are going to do next.
We are all called to be Christ-like in a world where uncontrolled emotions run wild amongst imperfect human beings.
Remembering the example above, let’s say Friend A lashes out to Friend B, and Friend B does absolutely nothing except turn the other cheek, either by actually turning his cheek or bracing himself for another verbal hit (something like, “what did you say?”). The tiny space between the striking and the turning the other cheek is the space where the realisation should take place.
Though Friend B turns the other cheek to anticipate another hit, in reality, Friend B should not expect to be hit again. After all, it’s wrong to verbally or physically abuse another, irrespective of whether they’re in the body of Christ or not.
The point here is the realisation of behaving, as scripture says, in an evil manner. We are not to resist, for it the responsibility of the offender to realise the extent and implications his evil behaviour. If he doesn’t, then this will be a cause for concern.
This is what I thought, but what do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading friend, and God bless!
Tunde T. Amao