“…But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39b)
Water – Not Gasoline
In any sport when there is a scuffle, the one who started it is seldom penalized because the referee or official usually sees the second one who retaliates.
The athlete who was the recipient of the initial foul, punch, or shove has one of two choices: to retaliate or walk away. Retaliating will make it worse and cost his team a penalty; walking away will remove him from the confrontation and save him and his team from embarrassment and further consequences. He can either pour water on the fire by walking away or pour gasoline on the fire by seeking revenge.
Often, we find ourselves in situations when we feel like we must retaliate. However, there is a difference between standing up for ourselves and what is right versus being overly argumentative for the sake of our pride when no ground is being won. That is when water, not gasoline, must be chosen.
Walk away. Bite your tongue. Hold it in. End the argument. Turn your cheek. Retaliating and getting in the last word is not worth it. It takes more strength to not seek revenge than to constantly feel like you have to be the last voice heard in an argument where no one’s mind will be changed and your last words give you the perception that you “won” it.
The real victory is found in Jesus and following His example of and teaching on patience, humility, and gentleness.
– Daniel Matthews