But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. ~Matthew 5:39
The Apostle Paul describes the age we live in as “perilous times.” This description has the idea of dangers and perils along the way. Most men I know try to be cautious and aware of their circumstances because of unexpected dangers. However, what do you do when you have been offended by another person? In most cases, most people I know will retaliate or hit back. Our Lord Jesus gives a powerful directive to us about what to do when we have been offended. He tells us that if someone smites us on the right cheek, we are to turn him the other also. In essence, He is telling us we are supposed to give this person our other cheek! Let us see a lesson on meekness.
We see the pain.
“Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek.” Our Lord is speaking about an intentional action by another person against us. This infliction is, in many cases, an insult to our person, integrity, or our family. When we have been attacked verbally or physically, we feel great pain. We are hurt and our defense mechanisms go into motion. At a minimum, we avoid the person who hurt us. In some cases, if our “button” gets pushed the wrong way or at the wrong time, we retaliate. Either way, there is anger, ill-will, and pain that we experience.
We see the practice.
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Jesus said, “Turn to him the other also.” He is commanding us to do what is not part of our normal practice. This is meekness in action. Meekness is exercising a spirit of patience and understanding. When meekness is exercised, we are trying to make an adversary an ally. In the ministry, there is a tendency for us to be entangled with misunderstandings, wrong perceptions, and harbored feelings of ill-will that come out of people. Meekness is turning the other cheek from the insults and a caustic attitude of another person.
We see a pattern.
“Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Our Lord Jesus is the model pattern for turning the other cheek. He did not respond or retaliate to the injustice, insults, and injuries He received at the hands of His enemies. He committed Himself to God the Father. This is a reminder to us that the first thing to do when we have been hurt is to commit the matter to God in prayer. Give it to the Lord, and let Him defend you.
We see the profit.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). When we exercise meekness, we have demonstrated we have chosen to take the high road in times of conflict. First, He describes our profit as being blessed or happy. Second, He promises we shall inherit the earth. By this, the Lord is promising God’s approval upon our life. Our prayers will go unhindered. We are seen as people who can conquer the spiritual mountains in our lives. God is able to trust us with many kinds of people that we can minister to.
It is not natural to turn the other cheek: it is spiritual! Don’t let your life be destroyed by the spurious action of another person. Remember the Lord’s directive, and be ready to turn the other cheek.
Have a meekness-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 4-6