Turning the Other Cheek, Right?

I have a difficult time letting little snubs, insults, disagreements, go. I thought it was wrong to defend yourself. What are you supposed to do? I understand no one is perfect. Sometimes it is difficult to endure certain personal insults. Sometimes it may hurt because it is true. Sometimes it may hurt because it was uncalled for. Sometimes it may hurt, because well I was always ready having a terrible day, “thanks for contributing.” Some people say you should never be offended or take anything personal at all. I do not think that is characteristic of human nature.

Yes, it can be difficult to let things wash off you when someone is hurtful towards you. But the redemptive power of Grace can let you take it in stride.

Turning the other cheek isn’t about letting people walk all over you as a penance. It’s about loving the other person enough so that you can rise above their insults. If you can let God’s grace infuse you, then you stand as a witness to God for these people when you don’t react badly. Which one of those people would, if they encountered Our Lord himself in all His full heavenly glory would, for a second, continue their insults? They would be astonished, ashamed and sorrowful.

When you are snubbed or hurt, reflect the Lord back to these people. They may not see it straight away, but you will be filled with the Grace that works not only for them but for you as well, for with Grace comes Peace… the Peace that you hear about at every Mass: “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you”.

As you become more infused with the Peace of Our Lord, the less the insults will bother you, the more serene you will be come and it is your faith that is your defence in these things.


For many, forgiveness is a difficult virtue to master. When we learn the power and wisdom of forgiveness, we are bound to have reached an advanced level of spiritual maturity. Regardless the nature of any possible abuse that we may have endured, nor the severity of that abuse, full recovery from abuse cannot be achieved until we truly forgive our abuser(s). Any anger or resentment we hold within us, live and thrive within us, and become a part of our very self. We will never rid ourselves of this anger and resentment until we experience true forgiveness towards all. Seeing our tormentors suffer a thousand times over will only add to our own misery.

On the other hand, to endure unnecessary torment and misery is never righteous, but a perversion. Also, the righteousness of forgiveness should never involve our condoning abuse or any other forms of evil.

True forgiveness requires our valuing peace and love above all else. Experiencing forgiveness towards those who have wronged us resembles perfect love more so than perhaps any other human experience. Forgiveness involves recognizing and valuing the potential for love that exists within every human soul, including our own soul. Sins cannot be completely forgiven until we forgive, and find an inner peace with, everyone who has ever wronged us; for every ounce of anger and resentment that we hold against any other(s), there will surely exist an ounce of sin held against us – for harboring anger and resentment within our self is sin.

The Golden Rule states: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” Our forgiving everyone, especially those we consider our enemies or adversaries, is to demonstrate to God that we are worthy of His forgiveness. Likewise, to find love for all our enemies and adversaries is to demonstrate to God that we have suffered long enough with our anger and resentment, and we are ready to receive His love.

Again, to experience the true power and wisdom contained within the virtue of forgiveness is to develop great spiritual growth!

I think it’s okay to let someone know they hurt you.

Christ, himself, sometimes used exaggeration, or hyperbole, as a way of teaching, didn’t always take what was said as to be applied, literally.

For instance, when he was struck, he asked why he was being struck if he had answered truthfully. He, himself, didn’t offer his other cheek. Likewise, though, he didn’t retaliate in anyway, though he was God, and actually could have.

So, apparently, turning the other cheek meant something else.

I was once at peace where nothing anybody said or did affected my inner peace. Even when they tried to provoke me, it didn’t work.

They could have screamed and hollared till they were blue, and it wouldn’t have affected me in the slightest, because my peace was just that great. I was also clear it was THEM, not me, who was having a problem. So, I didn’t allow anything others said to disturb my peace.

A friend of mine imagines a shield between herself and the person, to help her. When people are verbally attacking her, she imagines herself, safe and protected from them, says it helps.

Once, when I was in marital counseling, my counselor offered to teach me how to detach. She said I didn’t even need to leave the room in order to detach, and it’s a shame I left the country before learning that. However, detachment might be helpful in the case you recommended.

What puzzles me is the aggressive (and hilarious) tone that some of the Early Church Fathers take in their writings against those outside the pale. I recall one I read recently, mocking those who believed in reincarnation, and stating that he was not impressed that they claim to come from a fish in a previous life, and that they lacked even as much sense as a fish has.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Ephesians 6 :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.