The original Law kept people from forcing the offender to pay a greater price than the offense
deserved. It also prevented people from taking personal revenge. Jesus replaced a law with an
attitude: Be willing to suffer loss yourself rather than cause another to suffer. Of course, He
applied this to personal insults, not to groups or nations.
The person who retaliates only makes himself and the offender feel worse; the result is a
settled war and not peace.
In order to “turn the other cheek,” we must stay where we are and not run away. This
demands both faith and love. It also means that we will hurt, but it is better to be hurt on the
outside than to be harmed on the inside. It further means that we should try to help the sinner.
We are vulnerable, because he may attack us anew; but we are also victorious, because Jesus
is on our side, helping us and building our characters.
Psychologists tell us that violence is born of weakness, not strength. It is the strong man who
can love and suffer hurt; it is the weak man who thinks only of himself and hurts others to
The Bible says: “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and He
will deliver you” (Proverbs 20:22, NIV).
Read also: Leviticus 24:19-22; Matthew 5:38-42; Romans 12:17-19; 1 Peter 3:9.
Action assignment: Has someone wronged you? Ask God to help you have an attitude of
“turning the other cheek” and to respond with love to a past injury or one that may occur
WARREN W. WIERSBE