Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Matthew 18:15-17 KJV)
I have often struggled with the question of whether or not turning the other cheek meant we we're suppose to be pushovers. Apparently the general consensus is yes, we should be. However, the more I read the gospels and get to know Jesus and the way He approached those who opposed Him the more convinced I an that the general consensus is wrong.
I'm not a bible scholar by any means. All I can do is take the scriptures how the Holy Spirit reveals them to me. And to be honest it never sets well with my Spirit when I allow myself to be used as a door may even when it is the name of Jesus. I am a very non-confrontational person. This along with not being able to tell people "No", being a Christian, and walking in love, people always pick up on and repeatedly take advantage of it. When I allow this to happen it usually results in my mind running rampant in what I should say or do or how wrong they are doing me and I am always left feeling angry and cynical. This can not be what God intended when he told us to love all and turn the other cheek.
I have been doing some real soul and bible searching about the answer to this conundrum. But no matter how much I read and interpret scriptures my spirit keeps referring me back to Jesus himself.
In Luke chapter 13 Jesus repeatedly takes up for Himself. In verse 13 He heals a woman on the sabbath and in 14 the ruler of the synagogue tries to condemn Jesus for doing work on the sabbath and in verses 15 and 16 Jesus lets them have it. He takes up for Himself and His actions. In the same chapter is Jesus is condemned and threatened by Pharisees when they tell Him to leave the land because Herod will kill Him. Then again in verses 32-33 He tells them how it is and what they can do about.
These are only two examples of Jesus standing up for Himself and not being a wimp or a pushover! I believe when the bible tells us to turn the other cheek it means just that. It, however, does not tell us to cower or turn and run away. It says to stand there in the face of what ever it may be that keeps delivering blows to you. I believe that when people mistake our (Christian's) kindness for weakness and begin to take advantage of our love, if we let them do so with out going to them in love and correct them that we are enabling their sin and dependency. This not only damages them greatly hut ourselves as well. It causes us to become cynical and to not want to help people and love people the way that Christ intended for us to do.
Again, I am not a bible scholar or a preacher. All I can do is take the scriptures as The Lord reveals them to me through the filter of what ever situation I am dealing with at the time. And that is what I do. I hope that this devotion had blessed you in some way. Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments and if you would like to connect with me directly my email is email@example.com