Walking The High Road: Turning The Other Cheek

In a world often characterized by conflict, retaliation, and “I must get mine” attitude,, the concept of turning the other cheek stands out as a profound and countercultural principle. Rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ, it exhorts Christians to respond to adversity with humility, forgiveness, and grace. Despite its simplicity, this principle embodies a profound depth of character and a radical approach to everyday life.

The phrase "turn the other cheek" originates from one of the most renowned sermons in history, the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39, ESV). This instruction challenges the natural urge and desire to retaliate when wronged and instead encourages us to respond with  patience, love, peace, and kindness.

By turning the other cheek, have the power to take a negative situation and make it positive. .. By responding to wrongdoing with kindness and compassion, individuals transcend the immediate conflict and pave the way for reconciliation and healing.
At the heart of this principle lies the example set by Jesus Christ himself. Throughout his life, Jesus encountered opposition, betrayal, and persecution. Yet, he responded not with bitterness or retribution but with unwavering love and self-sacrifice. The pinnacle of his demonstration of turning the other cheek is found in his crucifixion. Despite being innocent, Jesus willingly endured humiliation, torture, and death on the cross for the redemption of humanity.

For Christians, embracing the principle of turning the other cheek is not a sign of weakness but of strength. It requires immense courage to respond to hostility with kindness, to absorb insults without retaliation, and to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
In a world fraught with conflict and division, the principle of turning the other cheek serves as a beacon of hope and a call to action for Christians. It challenges us to rise above the impulse for retaliation and to embody the radical love exemplified by Jesus Christ. By embracing this truth, Christians can contribute to the realization of a more compassionate, just, and peaceful world.

As we celebrate Easter, I continuously stand in awe of Jesus’ ability to turn the other cheek, and his example of humility that was on full display during the events of his crucifixion. Jesus is our example, and if we strive to follow his example, I wholeheartedly believe the world would be a much better place.

-Jess Whitehead
Student Ministry Associate 
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