Turning the Other Cheek

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The conflicts were bloody. Wars in the Balkans, in 1912 and 1913, were the by-product of generations of rivalries and hatred. The Muslim Ottomans were trying to keep control over this region in Eastern Europe, while others wanted to be free of their control.

These conflicts led to widespread atrocities. An international committee investigating the wars reported that the people felt justified in carrying out acts of revenge: “The burning of villages and the exodus of the defeated population is a normal and traditional incident of all Balkan wars and insurrections.” Whatever injustices people suffered, they also inflicted upon others.

Many Jews living in the region chose to immigrate to Palestine. But many people remained, and the festering wounds helped spark World War I, as flames of bitterness eventually led to a global disaster.

People throughout history have shared these same kinds of rivalries and animosities: disputes over territories…differences over traditions…personal conflicts…arrogance…and misunderstandings. These same conditions still exist, even today, as people engage in various actions designed to discredit and defeat their adversaries.

Even Believers can be tempted to engage in such emotions. But we are reminded that Jesus taught a completely different approach. We are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. When people wrong us, we must turn the other cheek rather than retaliate. And we’re called to be generous even to those who don’t deserve it.

This may seem humanly impossible. But as we surrender our lives to the lordship of Jesus and are filled with His Spirit, He gives us the power to be different. Not only can we love our friends and families, but we even can love our enemies.