Turn the Other Cheek

In continuance of my last post. No, He never said it would be easy.

I got a full fledge reaction tonight; one that expressed her anger towards me as she called me selfish, childish, immature, shallow, and everything in between the lines that suggested she never wanted to talk to me again. Of course, I know that these things aren't true. I have never in my life been called any of these characteristics by anyone who has known me (well, except my mom calling me selfish a few times, but that doesn't count) for any period of time. But, I know that this is her anger speaking, and probably some hurt feelings also.

It still doesn't make it easy to hear from someone who you never really meant to hurt. But she is not used to people being up front with her, and so her reaction makes sense to me. Remember the mantra "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?" As a child, we sang these tunes, knowing even at that age that they weren't true. But also as a child, what we didn't understand is the commandment of Christ to "turn the other cheek." How many times did Christ bear the burdan of awful words being spat at him? Of people yelling at him, cursing him, abusing him, and in the end, sacrificing him, all the while mocking his existence? On Sundays when we take Memorials I think about this life compared to Christ's. How easy we have it compared to him. Christ was treated harsher than we could ever imagine, and all because he was truly trying to show the people their wrongdoings.

But we, as humans, never like to hear about our wrongdoings. We don't like honesty if it means we are the person on the other end of the exchange. We don't like to be called out on something. And so we get angry, just as the people in Christ's day got angry with him. We don't hear what we want to hear and so we try to use every angry word we can to make up for the hurt that we feel inside.

But Christ didn't do this. The things he endured were so much more than a few hurtful words from an angry friend, and he still was able to weather the storm without once being anything but understanding. And what did he say at the end? After other's anger had brought him to his death? "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Instead of taking himself off the stake, putting the people to death that were mocking them, creating mass havok around them that could have showed them all who he really was, he just kept his peace, and prayed for God to forgive them.

This is the most powerful lesson of them all to me...because life is just that, a lot of hurt, anger, and regret. Of course, there are the wonderful moments stitched in between. But there will always be times when the sinful part of life weaves its way in. The unexpected thorn as you prepare a vase full of beautiful roses. But it is quite obvious that the only way to master this thorn, to truly try to be as Christ, is to "turn the other cheek," even when all we want to do is throw our own words in the mix, to make the person feel as hurt as they tried to make you feel, to show how angry you are in return.

But again, for the third time this weekend...He never said it would be easy. And so, with that, the end of what I questioned was a true friendship anyway. I didn't write her back; I pray that eventually God will work His way into her heart and she will find forgiveness. For me, the situation is over. I can only continue to pray about it and to put it behind me--just another thorn stick in the rose garden of life.

Matthew 5:39
"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."

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