TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK A CALL TO ACTION

These or similar words can come to mind when we think of individuals who turn the other cheek. At the very least, turning the other cheek might seem to be extremely passive behavior. And we may often consider it an impractical or unrealistic response. Revenge, reciprocation of evil, hating, cursing, personally punishing the perpetrator of the evil, or taking some kind of action against those who have wronged us, seems to be a natural human inclination. But recently I asked myself, Is turning the other cheek perhaps a higher call to action?

I contemplated this possibility when praying with these verses from Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount: "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain" (Matt. 5:39—41). Then, in Science and Health, next to the marginal heading "Charity to those opposed," I found this Christly instruction explained this way: " 'Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.' That is, Fear not that he will smite thee again for thy forbearance" (p. 444).

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