by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – Jesus teaches that if someone slaps us on the cheek, we should turn the other to them also (Matt. 5:39-40). Furthermore Paul teaches us that we should never retaliate against our enemies and those who try to harm us.
Now in both cases these are not references to times of war or times of protection of our loved ones, but rather personal attacks from another. We are instructed not to retaliate or seek revenge. But how in the world are we supposed to overcome harmful attacks, physical abuse, or the verbal onslaughts that can leave us in physical pain or psychological and emotional instability? While it may be more difficult to decipher through the words of Jesus in the ‘Sermon on the Mountain,’ Paul gives us a sure way to put up with and even apply the biblical principle of turning the other cheek.
Paul says, “we are to overcome evil, with good” (Romans 12:21). In essence, Paul is trying to get us to see that the only way to overcome evil is to make sure that we are committed to the practice of ‘doing good.’ Doing the right thing just doesn’t happen. It takes time, patience, and practice. Any successful athlete, actor or professional would agree that they did not get to the heights of their career without putting in long hours of practice, patiently and persistently trying to get it right.
In the same way you and I will never achieve the ability to overcome evil with good, if we don’t first spend much of our time planning for and practicing the right thing so when personal attacks take place, we can do in public the good we have been practicing in private.
So, what is the point of this month’s article? Simple, in order for you and I to live out the more difficult teachings of Jesus and biblical principles such as turning the other cheek, we must first practice them on smaller scales in the everyday scenarios in our life. You and I can start at home by sometimes holding our tongue instead of speaking our mind, thinking of something nice to say instead of something harsh. We began to think about the concerns, needs and even desires of others first before ourselves. At work we can hold the door for someone else, when we are driving slow down, let someone else into your lane, look for opportunities to give instead of receive.
By doing things like these, we prepare ourselves for the day when someone attempts or even succeeds in wronging, taking away, or simply mistreating us. Only then will we still be able to turn the other cheek like Jesus said, and overcome their evil with our good like Paul teaches. God Bless!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.