Friday, October 25, 2013

But What About Turning the Other Cheek?

Christians are taught to turn the other cheek. It's true that we have to forgive, and we need to pray for our enemies. We have to love them and to sincerely desire the best for them. But we don't have to put up with being abused.

We can be nice, we can be kind and we can be charitable. But we don't need to be doormats. The best way I've found to deal with difficult personalities we meet along the way is to rise above the ruckus and pay little attention to their antics. Don't put yourself in the position of needing anything from them. Develop a wider circle of friends outside of your church community so you don't feel so dependent upon one group for all of your socialization. Encourage your children to do the same. Bullies look for your weak spot. If you desperately want to fit in, they'll sense this.

Yes, we are called to forgive, no matter how many times someone hurts us. We also must forgive even without an apology. However, this doesn't mean we return to the same spot we left, as if nothing happened. We don't need to set ourselves up for a repeated cycle of abuse.

Flickr photo by ell brown

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