Turn the Other CheekNew Every Morning | August 18, 2018
HOW CAN WE turn the other cheek, responding out of power rather than force in ordinary encounters with those who may be opposing us? If someone makes an insulting remark we usually react in one of four ways:
(1) instantly retaliating, returning insult for insult;
(2) launching into defensive explanations;
(3) falling silent and brooding; or
(4) deflecting the hurt by making a joke out of it.
But if we can take a moment to breathe slowly and deeply and then respond from God’s power, we can look the offender in the face and say quietly and firmly, “I wonder if you really meant that in the way it sounded. If so, it’s time we talk about the real issues.”
If someone turns aside a serious conversation with flippant, inappropriate remarks, instead of giving a weak laugh or responding irritably, we can turn the other cheek of empowered dignity, turn our full attention to the joker, and say thoughtfully, “Is there something about this conversation that makes you uncomfortable? Let’s look at this together.”
If at our workplace or at home someone gives a sharp, cutting criticism, we can meet it directly, saying, “The way you are saying this is hurtful, but I’m trying to hear the real gist of your criticism. I think I might learn something from your point if we can talk about it in another way.”
This way of responding (and I have a long way to go learning it!) rises from our own sense of worth, combined with willingness to learn and grow. It is not submission, nor is it aggression or defensiveness.
– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey
From page 55 of Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey: Nine Steps of Forgiving Through Jesus’ Beatitudes by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2001 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Think of a time when this kind of response described above would have helped the situation. Share your thoughts.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
John 6:15, NRSV
This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
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This week we remember: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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This is an interesting thought…responding in power vs. responding with force. Certainly Christ’s responses were always on point, and powerful. Did they make the other person uncomfortable? Quite possibly, because He spoke with authority, yet not aggression. Was the other person offended, or just made to look deep within themselves? Father, grant us the wisdom and discernment needed to honor You in all of our interactions.
Praying for Andrea’s interactions with family members today. May conversations be free of offensive force and emotions be surrendered. Father – may she sense Your presence with her, supporting her, encouraging her, strengthening her.
Prayers, too, for Betsy and Robert and the discomfort in and from their necks.
April – thank you for your comments last evening. Spending time with my student yesterday was surely a blessing to me, hopefully for her as well.
Grateful for Stevie (my student) and her radiant positivity. Lots of emotions as she heads to the west coast for school in a week. She has a great relationship with her boyfriend and this long distance will surely be a stress on it. She moved out of her foster family’s house and in with her grandparents. Her mother and her relationship with her mother are still a work in progress. Grateful for rain yesterday. Grateful for lunch with a friend and time spent catching up.
Thank you God for teaching us how to respond to insulting remarks with Your power.
Grateful for time with my niece as we have dinner together.
Thank you God for blessing our fellowship.
I am going to look for this book. I need to learn how to respond in this manner. This would be especially helpful in my present circumstances.
Prayers for Jill and her student who is making a major move soon. May she find success and kind friends. Prayers for Jill and her family.
Prayers for Mary and a niece and time to share bread and friendship.
Prayers for Andrea and her diffcult task today.
Prayers for Betsy and Robert, may they be pain free today.
Prayers for Marcy. May she feel your arms Lord, holding her close.
Tazzie is sitting on my lap making it difficult to type and needng petting.
Prayers and blessings for all who come and partake of the kindness given here freely
Thank you for your prayers a my life circumstances remain verystressful
Thankful for a praying mantis on the screen of my kitchen sliding door. I have watched him all morning and he reminds me of the scripture verses that say that aall God’s creation will pray to Him…
In an on-going situation I have tried all of the above with no results in behavior, so I have slowly disconnected. I don’t like the idea, but don’t want to be involved in experiencing things over and over. I will focus otherwise.
I saw a Praying Mantis (last year, I believe) and took a picture of it. It was on the backyard grass and so glad I didn’t step on it. I gently moved it to a place on a shepherd hook.
“A new dawn, a new day”
I can think of many times when one of the above responses would have been appropriate. Usually my response is no response – I say nothing and sweep it under the carpet. I should print this reflection and keep it by the bathroom mirror. I will.
The moving went very well this morning. Thank you, Jill and Julie and everyone, for your prayers.
I have meant to get one of Flora Slosson Wuellner’s books for as long as I have been visiting UR. The reflections from her writing always speak deeply to me.
I don’t have pets now due to the significant allergies I’ve developed and my husband’s farm upbringing, in which pets Always stayed outdoors. But many years ago I had a sweet cat named Trahpi and a friendly yellow lab named Chief. One early morning, when Chief had a gastrointestinal bug, I put mashed bananas in his food dish instead of his normal dog food, which I stored in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, and I went off to work. When I got home, the cupboard door was wide open. The bag of dogfood and evidence of Chief’s gastrointestinal bug were spilled all over the floor. Chief and Trahpi sat side by side, partners in crime, looking at me solemnly as I took in the scene. I surmised that Trahpi got the cupboard door open so Chief could get to his regular food. What a mess I had to clean up after those furry rascals.
My prayers for dear UR friends, Jill, Robert, Julie, Mary, Connie, Lou, Marcy, Betsy, April, Pam, and those whose names I have overlooked, as well as all who stop by UR, for your beloved furry pets, and for the prayer concerns you share here. Blessings.
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