According to this news story, one police officer practiced what I consider to be one of the toughest commands of following Jesus – hands down!
I don’t know if the officer was, is or ever will be a Christian, but I know that turning the other cheek is no easy task.
Turning the other cheek goes against every basic feeling that follows being wronged on whatever level you can imagine. Turning the other cheek calls for a level of self-denial that’s uncomfortable. Turning the other cheek puts us in a place that appears vulnerable. Turning the other cheek is counter-culture to practically every culture that has ever existed. To the world, turning the other cheek reeks of weakness.
But regardless of what the world initially thinks of the idea known as turning the other cheek, the world takes note of the discipline and patience that it takes to carry it out…whether the individual is in a place of authority or not.
Considering the last two paragraphs, it’s no wonder Jesus delivered his challenging command of turning the other cheek during his “kingdom of God outline” speech. I mean, what in the sermon on the mount is easy to follow when it comes to the way we naturally feel in many of life’s situations? And what part of Jesus’ sermon still doesn’t catch the world’s attention when it’s seen played out?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:38-39)