I wish I could say I’m tired of turning the other cheek, but I have only just begun. I have spent more time retaliating, lashing out, hurting back, withholding love, running away, quitting, judging, criticizing, offending, reviling back, bad-mouthing, condemning, manipulating, wanting vengeance, feeling sorry for myself, and holding onto the hurt than I have ever even considered turning the other cheek. Ugly, huh? Ugly, yes, but it’s also the truth. In fact, I believe if we all got really honest with ourselves I wouldn’t be the only one with an ugly story to tell.
I am a slow learner, but I am learning. How about you? Are you learning? Are you trying? Are you turning the other cheek when someone reviles you? Or are you fighting back? Are you running the other way? Are you following Jesus, or are you wallowing in the flesh like I have for so long?
Now that I have told the truth about how far short I have fallen, let me tell you about standing up. I have stood up, brushed myself off, repented for my falls, and am learning to walk by faith. I am learning to turn the other cheek, and it hurts like heck when I do. But the solace I find in denying my flesh, taking up my cross, and following Jesus (Mark 8:34 NKJV) so far surpasses all the ugly ways I retaliated against those that have hurt me that I am bound and determined to pursue this new way of living.
Why not turn the other cheek today and see what it’s like to live the way we are commanded? If you’re not happy with the results, you can always go back. But don’t be surprised if you find what I have found. Not only do I want more of Jesus, but I want more of following Him. His way is not only the right way. His way is the one that satisfies.
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on theone cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to thosefrom whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6 NKJV