“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” – Luke 6:27-29
Turning the other cheek was always a hard concept for me to grasp. It seems easy to do until you’re face-to-face with a situation that leaves you frustrated, angry, and short-tempered.
We can look at the way Jesus lived for example. The way he walked, the way he talked, and the way he went about his everyday life is the perfect testament to loving your enemies. As Jesus was fully human, he knows the pain and struggles of showing grace to those who don’t always deserve it.
Jesus was the perfect display of selflessness. He laid down his life for others, even for those who betrayed and mocked him. When Judas betrayed him, and turned him over to the those who would soon crucify him on the cross, he went willingly, without resistance or anger.
We can learn something from these true stories in the Bible. When we see Jesus willingly accepting the harsh fate he would soon encounter, it should encourage us to have the same gentle, willing, and humble spirit that Jesus once had.
All that being said, turning the other cheek is not a phrase to be misinterpreted. Allowing people to mistreat you and walk all over you time and time again is not what the Bible is saying.
It comes simply from a place of love, grace, and mercy. As followers of Christ, people take notice of the way we treat others. When we’re extending love to those who’ve done wrong to us, they, and others, see the love of Christ being displayed through us. Isn’t it cool to know we’re being used by God for a much bigger purpose?
Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
I’m sure this sounds familiar to all of us. The “Golden Rule” as most of us know it as, is a fantastic rule to live by. Loving your enemies and turning the other cheek shows a lot about your character and a lot about the God you serve. God uses us as vessels to be a reflection of him and to follow Jesus’s footsteps when it comes to extending love and selflessness.
Next time someone tests you, tempts you, or hurts you, show them forgiveness and the power of God’s love in the way you respond. The world could always use a little more love, so let it start with you!