Powerful PatienceHow can you trust God more even as you wait on Him?
Top Music Videos
But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also (Matthew 5:39).
When I lived in China, I had an American friend who was radically committed to bringing the gospel to that nation. He mastered the Chinese language until even the Chinese thought he spoke exactly like them, with no foreign accent; and he aggressively shared Jesus at every opportunity. Once he was attacked by thugs, and rather than use his larger size to fight back he obeyed Jesus’ command to turn the other cheek. His pummeling increased my admiration for him, though I also think he missed Jesus’ point.
Jesus’ command to turn the other cheek is not a caution against self- defense. He assumed that there was a place for self-defense (Luke 12:11, 22:36), and Paul repeatedly defended himself before others (Acts 22:1, 24:10). Neither does Jesus mean that we should simply stand there and take a beating, for even He slipped away when crowds tried to kill Him (Luke 4:28-30; John 8:59, 10:39).
The key to understanding Jesus’ point is the direction of the slap. In a right-handed world, a person who is slapped on the right cheek would be slapped by the back of the hand, which signifies insult and shame. The Roman world of Jesus’ day was consumed with honor. Emperors went to war over slights and snubs, both real and imagined.
We still do. Someone snidely remarks, “Your work isn’t half bad, it’s mostly bad.” Backslap! We reply that we didn’t know they could tell the difference. Backslap back! And just like that, our mutual disrespect can escalate into a verbal war. Imagine how much trouble we could avoid if we followed Jesus’ command to deflate the argument by turning the other cheek!
Anyone who attempts anything meaningful will at times be disrespected. You will be backslapped. Don’t backslap back.
Read Romans 12:9-21 to learn how we should respond to those who hurt us.
When have you felt disrespected? How did you respond? What would have been a Christlike response?
- Powerful Patience - How can you trust God more even as you wait on Him?...read more
- Overwhelmed - What has sunk your spirits today?...read more
- Greater - How does the knowledge that God is greater than our storms impact the way you feel?...read more
- Voice of Reason - How do you respond to the rage of others?...read more
- Source of Truth - What does Scripture reveal about the issues on your mind today?...read more
- Little Things - Do you measure yourself and others according to God’s standards or the world’s?...read more
- Jesus the Reconciler - What does it add to your understanding of the cross to recognize that Jesus was enacting your reconciliation with God?...read more
- Tasting Heaven - How can you echo God’s future banquet by inviting diverse guests to your dinner parties?...read more
- Possible - What does it mean for you to know that Jesus is your Shepherd?...read more
- "Follow Me!" - Why are you following Jesus?...read more
- Here’s Hope - Why do we sometimes keep our struggles to ourselves?...read more
- Is Jesus Enough? - How do you react when you see injustice in the world, or when circumstances are against you and God seems to be silent?...read more
- Greater Work - What life experience has most challenged your understanding of prayer?...read more
- Awe - Where and when do you find yourself most in awe of God?...read more
- Purpose - How does the apostle Paul’s life demonstrate God’s “purpose” to you?...read more
- Broken Down & Built Up - What might God be accomplishing in your life through a recent difficult experience?...read more