Turning the Other Cheek…. a Choice?

“So I guess you’re gonna tell us we have to turn the other cheek.”

The sarcasm puddled on the table. A guy who’s lived on lobster boats doesn’t easily buy the notion of non-violnece.

We were talking about fear, and I said “He hit me” doesn’t mean “I have to hit him back.”

The guy kept going. “So I’m supposed to just let people assault me and my family, right?”

“That’s not what I said. This isn’t about ‘turn the other cheek’ at all.

“It’s about the words ‘have to.’ I ‘have to’ hit him back is a lie. You don’t ‘have to’ do anything.”

“Okay,” he replied, “what’s the alternative?”

“It’s simple. You choose.”

The room got quiet. Another guy chuckled. “So can I choose to hit back?”

I had them, and they knew it. Finally somebody said, “Sure. But you gotta take responsibility for it.”

I asked him to elaborate.

“I can’t be like a little kid…he made me do it. I choose to fight, or not. I choose to drink, or not.”

The first man wasn’t giving up. “In real life, it’s not that easy…”

“You’re right. Life ain’t about bein’ easy.

“But either you choose, or someone else chooses for you.”

Then I turn to the original question. “Turn the other cheek or defend yourself–your choice. You listen to Jesus and learn what He really meant. Then you decide and take responsibility for your decision.”

Simple. Not easy.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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