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Christianity Turning the Other Cheek

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Submitted By bsherry13
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Christianity practices the teachings of Jesus in “turning the other cheek” rather than retaliating against evil attacks like other religions suggest an “eye for an eye.” Jesus was tortured, degraded, judged and ultimately killed because he loved the people of the world, the same people who killed him he gave his life for. Christianity preaches that God wants his followers to be merciful like his son in turning the other cheek and loving his enemies. “We are told that we are not to resist evil but to turn the other cheek. The world assumes that evil must be resisted by every means available. We are told to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. The world assumes that friends are to be loved and enemies hated.”(Smith, p.212) If Jesus had not turned the other cheek and sacrificed himself for all of mans’ sins God would not be loving or forgiving of man and there would be no promise of eternal life which would take away life’s true meaning. The Bible clearly states that we are to love our enemies and be merciful and that doing so will yield a great reward for these holy actions. "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."(Luke 6:35-36). Many followers of the Christian faith may not fully understand why Jesus is asking them to love their enemies. Why should we love those who wish to attack us and watch us fail? Jesus wants his followers to love their enemies to glorify God and demonstrate the same love and faith God shows toward us. Jesus wants his people to show their enemies the love and faith of Christ and to bring them the salvation that they need. Gods desire is to have all men find faith in Christ and by loving your enemies you show them Gods love and hope they can find their own faith. If Jesus had not set such a sacrificial precedent for Christians to follow, God would not show men forgiveness or an eternal life and it would be in the nature of Christians to retaliate against their enemies rather than nobly turning the other cheek.
On January 20th, 2012 it was a dark cold winter night and my friend and teammate Pete was driving home from AMC 24 with his girlfriend Caroline after seeing Contraband. It is around 11:30pm as Pete pulls out of the theatre lot in his silver 99’ Jeep Cherokee. Pete pulls onto the highway after a few blocks and drives four miles before getting off at exit 11. He pulls off the exit and accelerates through a green light at 30mph when a black Lincoln Navigator runs a red light at 40mph into Pete’s driver side door and completely flips Pete’s car onto its side. Pete was killed on impact and his girlfriend Caroline went into a coma for 5 days. One of my good friends that I had played baseball with for 3 years was killed by a drunk driver that night. Upon hearing about this I was in a state of absolute shock, completely numb and feeling empty inside. I then shortly became consumed by anger and a rage building inside of me. For weeks I pictured horrific scenarios of involving me killing the murderer who took away a close friend of mine. The emotional pain I suffered during this time was pretty overwhelming; I lost weight from a loss of appetite and found myself struggling to relax and clear my mind to fall asleep at night. I found myself getting frustrated at the smallest issues and being real short and angry with people. I started to realize my anger was consuming me and all I wanted to do was to kill the man who killed my friend, an eye for an eye. It took me years before I was mature enough to realize that it was a horribly wrong way to think and that killing this man would make me no better than him for killing Pete. I would be stooping to his level and practice the inhuman ways of barbarians killing each other off as “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” It certainly did not feel like I loved this man for killing my friend but I knew no matter how much I wanted to hate him that it was wrong to do so. This man did not want to kill my friend but his poor judgment lead him to cause a deadly accident. If God will show this man forgiveness for his mistakes then I am in no place to hate this man if I ask God to forgive me for my sins. While loving your enemies and those who try to hurt you may seem like an absurd idea, it has proven to be the best way to treat your enemies as retaliation causes even more problems. If a man is pushed his first reaction will most often be to push the person back. While self defense in this scenario is understandable if someone is being attacked, retaliation of pushing the person back will only escalate the fight and cause more problems potentially involving more people with legal consequences at risk. However, if someone is pushed and chooses to rather try to solve the conflict peacefully without retaliation they will be respected as the bigger more mature man in the situation. You may not love the man who pushed you but the point is to show him love by not retaliating because when you show your enemies love it makes it much more difficult for them to justify their hate. However, the death of my friend made me realize that there is no justification for hate. Hate is pure evil and we should not resist evil but we should turn the other cheek, even love our enemies because God lets the evil hearted in on his sunshine too and we should practice the love of God. I practiced the love of God when I was able to forgive the man who had killed my friend. I realized had he been shown love he might not have committed such evil that night. Jesus sacrificed himself for the very same men who tortured him because Jesus knew that by showing his enemies love he was creating a better world where men could grow and be forgiven. The death of my close friend certainly caused me to grow, it made me realize there is no justification for hate or retaliation as they will only lead to more death and evil and this is why Jesus tells us to love our enemies.…...

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