Religion Magazine

Try Something Clever and You'll Thank Yourself for It

By Albert Wagner @albertwagner4
You've heard it many times before and you have probably thought about its meaning.
If someone slaps you on the cheek, turn to them the other cheek, also.   - Gospel Of Matthew 5:39
It sounds like good advice, especially since it is coming from the Bible, which is God's Inspired Word.  As this scenario is a part of daily life for most people, is it always so easy to do?  

But, It's Difficult

Just because we have heard it many times before does not mean we do it.
This post examines this directive from Jesus and tries to put it in line with daily life to bring the most good out of it.
In regard to turning the other cheek, here are some things to remember.
  1. God does not always want people to make the choice that is easier.
  2. Doing this is better for you and the other person in the long term.
  3. God created humans, so he knows human psychology better than they do.
  4. When lies were told about Jesus he remained silent. His actions are intended for us to follow.
  5. It is not anger that is a sin, but improper decisions afterward that can lead to sin.
  6. There is such a thing as righteous anger.  As mentioned in #5 it is acting on that that can be a problem.
It might be worth noting why Jesus said to turn the other cheek in the first place.  What happens when people don't?  People tend to make unsound judgments, such as saying something that is later regretted.  Sometimes it leads to physical injuries and possibly the loss of people in their lives.  As #3 in the list stated Jesus knows people thoroughly since he created them.
Jesus knew people had these tendencies and that is the guidance he gave for your good.

Some Perspective On The Matter

In this modern society too many people look down on those that turn the other cheek.  They make comments like "these people are like doormats" or are "people who let people walk over them."
A major part if this post is about putting these types of comments in context.
Some Biblical quotes might be a good place to start for some guidance.
    • "We must obey God rather than men." - St. Peter, Acts Of The Apostles 5:29
    • ":Forgive them, for they know not what they do." - Gospel Of Luke 23:24
    • "Love your enemies."- Gospel Of Matthew 5:44
      Try something clever and you'll thank yourself for ItFrom via Flickr
      Even from a non-Biblical perspective turning the other cheek can be the more "manly" thing to do.
      For example, it can take a "larger man" to use self-control, as it is not the easy thing to do. As Jackie Robinson was breaking the color barrier in professional baseball he was often put in the position of whether to "turn the other cheek" or not in response to racism..  As pointed out by his manager it was in his best interest to "Turn the other cheek"" and not let those things bother him so he could concentrate on his game.  It would have been easier to try to get back at people they were getting to him, but could have distracted him from his job.
      Just to be clear, by his directive Jesus is not saying for a person to be a "doormat."  There is a proper place and time to express yourself and the Bible is saying a time of disagreement is not one of them.
      If you try the clever tactic of turning the other cheek you just might thank yourself later.
      You might also be interested in:Turn The Other Cheek Without Being A DoormatDo All Know Right From Wrong?
      Author:  Albert Wagner

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