Turn My Cheek (Part II)
Last month, we saw that Jesus said in Matthew 5:39, “…That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” So, the question is, does this mean that if anyone desires to mistreat you that you are just to submit to their abuse?
Throughout Scripture, many of God’s children were persecuted, tortured, and some were killed. Paul was stoned and left for dead; yet, he was raised up and preached the next day. This same Paul writes, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14). Paul preached in the midst of great adversity. He didn’t run from His call when he was facing great persecution. We, too, are to stand in Truth, even in the midst of persecution, being tortured, or even killed. But, let me say, if this should ever be the case in our lives, the same grace that embraced the persecuted to their death in the Holy Scriptures and throughout history, would be the grace that would sustain us. So, we do not fear if this should be our fate. Amen! However, Paul did not submit himself to the Jews in Acts 9 when they were ready to kill him. Verse 25 says that they let Paul down a side of the wall in a basket so he would be delivered from their evil intent. God’s deliverance is seen throughout Scripture for His people when their enemies would seek to harm them.
Our forefathers fought for us in order to have the freedom to worship and freedom of speech to declare God’s Word. Some of us have known persecution, but generally speaking, not like those we read about in the early church or even like those persecuted in other lands today. I trust that America remains free, in Jesus’ name.
Satan may not tempt a Christian to kill, steal, become addictive, commit adultery, lie, or cheat; but I see that he perverts the use of certain Scriptures as a means for God’s children to feel that they have to submit to abuse from other people. I hate this deception and I see it too often working in the lives of Christians. Don’t we see satan using portions of Scripture with the purpose of tempting Jesus to submit to him? Well, Jesus put satan on the run with the whole Word of God … real Truth (Lk. 4)!
Now I understand there is a balance concerning “turning the cheek” for we read in Acts 20:27, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God,” but Christians often don’t recognize that satan is using people to mock and/or physically, sexually, or emotionally persecute them. Would we as parents allow another human being to do this to our children? …Absolutely not! God has given us a will to do something about it for our personal lives. Yes, we do not war against flesh and blood, but against demonic spirits (Eph. 6:12), but if someone is choosing to be satan’s tongue, hands, and body against me, do I just allow that to happen? I think not, as we are to “Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). Now, there will be those that on occasion will be harsh with their words. We, of course, forgive and move on. However, if this becomes an ongoing issue, it should be dealt with through confrontation, counsel for parties involved, and/or if it’s a job or church situation that continues to be abusive, one should acknowledge the Lord and possibly remove oneself from that environment. Church, our Lord didn’t will for you and me to be doormats for our enemy, satan.