Impossible!#8. “Turn the other cheek!” (Mt.5:39)

Impossible!#8. “Turn the other cheek!” (Mt.5:39)

As a child, I asked my father what it meant to ‘turn the other cheek.’ He said, “The Bible says that you have to turn the other cheek if someone hits you, but, after that, it doesn’t tell you that you are not allowed to hit him back.” It was bluster on his part, and not to be believed. He had seen first-hand what happens when men choose war over peace. “Fighting gets you nowhere,” was his true mantra.

The church is ever on the move. Like, leaven it is permeating the hearts and minds of the seven and a half billion people on earth. It is like seeds germinating, growing and filling the world with its fruit. It has defined civilization, it has destroyed empires and it has raised up leaders to facilitate the spread of its message. Violent men have always tried to exploit its power. Violent nations have always tried to ban its existence. But they are trying to stop the unstoppable. They cannot win against its King. He is the creator and ruler of all. By the power of His word, he sustains all things, and by the power of His word, He calls all people to His church.

Few things on earth obscure our vision of the Holy Spirit’s church building work than ‘getting even.’ How much time and effort are wasted on convincing ourselves and others that we were ‘hard done by?’ Why do we do it? Because revenge tastes sweeter than hurt. Jesus’ call to turn the other cheek is not a cruel joke. It is not designed to humiliate us and make us look pathetic. Turning the other cheek is finishing the issue so we can get on with the true fight. You have better things to do than war over things that make people lash out.

If it is impossible for us to turn the other cheek, we should not be surprised if it is impossible for us to see God at work all around us. John Staiger


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