Turn the Other Cheek

In conflict-laden circumstances, the Holy Spirit will guide us to a God-honoring response.

Luke 6:29-31

Today’s passage contains a verse that confuses many Christians: “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also” (Luke 6:29). Are we to stand still while someone beats us up physically or emotionally? No. But we also are not to “repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing” (1 Peter 3:9 NIV).

John 18:21-23 offers some insight about how to apply these instructions. When Jesus was interrogated by the high priest and provided an “unsatisfactory” answer, one of the officials struck Him in the face. Instead of offering His other cheek to be slapped, Jesus calmly challenged the man’s unjust action. The Lord did not defend Himself or retaliate, but He also refused to accept mistreatment unquestioningly, even though He knew He would receive more.

How can we follow Jesus’ example? What does a righteous response look like? It really depends on the situation. We may need to ignore the other person’s actions, walk away from the abuse, or confront them. The only way to know the most respectful, Christlike choice in each circumstance is by yielding to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

It’s not easy to turn the other cheek, but we have a Companion to help us figure out how. Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.