There is a proverb in my country, Czechoslovakia, that says, "An echo in the woods always returns your own call." It is similar in meaning to the Biblical statement "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" (Matt. 5:38). Thus, if somebody is rude to me, he must reckon with my rudeness in response. This is anything but a Christian approach. Christ Jesus taught, "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matt. 5:39). Many people do not agree with this peaceful approach, however.

Several times I have experienced an unfriendly attack or insulting behavior from some other person. These incidents left me feeling injured, mocked, and humiliated. My first reaction was to meet the rudeness with rudeness. But soon I came to understand that this would be supporting or multiplying the error made by others.

March 2, 1998

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