Are There Times When We Should Not Turn the Other Cheek?
“The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them” (Proverbs 12:6). This is a sobering scripture, but aligns with many others. Paul prayed that the love of the Philippians would “abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” Therefore, when we love people, we are to love them with knowledge and insight, not in a naive way. And when Jesus sent His disciples out to heal and to preach the good news of the kingdom of God, He told them to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
In essence, we are to love people unconditionally, as Christ commanded, but we are not to be naive. We are not to let ourselves be taken advantage of simply for the sake of being taken advantage of. Christ taught us to “turn the other cheek,” but when He was struck at His trial, He simply stated, “Why did you strike me?” There is balance in much of the scripture, and the closer we are to God, the more we know which way to lean in difficult situations.
Every day policemen and soldiers face such decisions.Our founding fathers decided to stand for the right and the good, rather than “turn the other cheek.”
They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the future of our nation. Indeed, many of them “gave it all,” rather than “lay down” for the abuse of King George.
We all know people who have been unmercifully abused, and we know that this is not God’s plan for their life. Some of us have been through similar situations. Fortunately,
“The fear [respect] of the Lord is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13). The more we love God, the more we’ll love people and hate evil all at the same time. When I’m not certain what course or what action to take with those who may have hidden or even evil agendas – and I’m rarely uncertain on a course of action in such cases – I simply err on the side of loving people and letting them take advantage of me. God sees and my rewards are forever secure in heaven while the “wicked are like the chaff which the wind drives away.”
Walking with the Lord certainly presents us with many win/win situations!