Turning the Other Cheek: Staying Vulnerable

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 “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” Luke 6:29 NIV

This verse has always stumped me. Surely God expects me to defend myself. Right?

Then, I received this insight. 

Perhaps God is telling us not to turn our hearts away from those who wound us. (Disclaimer: I’m not speaking of abusive situations.)

We are most easily wounded by those we love. When someone hurts us—and they will—what is your first response? Mine is self-defense. Protection. So the knife won’t pierce so deeply. So the hurt won’t reoccur. 

Self-protection leads me to turn my heart from that person. 

God tells me to stay vulnerable. To risk offering the other cheek. Because self-protection ultimately ends in self-destruction. When I turn my heart away, I harden my heart—and a hard heart is never a good thing. 

Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV speaks to the hardening process, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

A Sinful, Unbelieving Heart: Unbelief tells me I’m on my own, that God is unable or unwilling to walk me through the hurt and healing. Sin comes when I believe that lie. Unbelief and faith exist in opposition. Unbelief is sin. 

Turning Away: I become God when I choose to protect myself. I distance myself from God and from the other person. My heart loses its tenderness toward God and others.

Deception: Sin’s deceitfulness ends in hardening. My heart hardens when I believe a lie and walk it out. 

To reverse the process requires me to:

  • recognize the lie
  • counter it with God’s truth and
  • walk truth out instead.

No one enjoys hurt, but we have God’s promise never to waste it and God’s presence through the healing. 

So, go ahead. Stay vulnerable and choose to love, knowing the Lord Himself has your back and your other cheek.  

Workout of the Week: Turning the Other Cheek, Staying Vulnerable

Memory Verse: If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” Luke 6:29 

Meditation Passage: Hebrews 3:8-13

Do It: Stay Vulnerable