Jesus said when you are struck on one cheek turn and give him the other. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Love your enemies. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 it says love is patient, love is kind…love endures all things, bears all things…
I realize that all this doesn’t mean you should allow someone to cheat you or physically hurt you.
On the other hand, how do you treat people who are less than respectful to you? I usually smile at people who are impatient towards me in the grocery store, department stores, etc. If a family member says something cruel about me, I try to hug them before I leave. (I create an image in my mind like I’m embracing a crown of thorns or a heavy cross.)
People on the outside, perceive me as a doormat, and at times become even more cruel.
So what’s the difference between a doormat and having a good Christian loving attitude?
very simple. A doormat has no choice- it can only sit there while others wipe their muddy feet on them. We, on the other hand, must choose to let people track their mud onto us, hoping that we can help cleanse them. The choice is what makes us more powerful.
One concentration camp survivor explained: "Life in the concentration camp was inhumane. One could not trust anyone because there were spies, even amongst the prisoners. All of us were selfish at heart. With so many being assassinated all around, the hope was that others would be assassinated and that we could survive; our animal instincts took over because of hunger.” This was the reality that Maximilian Kolbe shared with them, yet he brought peace to the hearts of the most troubled, consolation to the afflicted, strength to the weak, and the grace of God through the Sacrament of Mercy, prayer and sacrifice – just like a good Teacher of souls. He lived to the extreme what he didn’t tire preaching to his friars: “Don’t ever forget to love.”
Unlike doormats, who always seem to focus on the OTHERS, we are also called to love ourselves. In loving ourselves, we may properly set boundaries even if they upset others. And ONLY when we love ourselves can we truly make the decision to sacrifice our wants or desires on behalf of others. Sacrifice without self-love can be, well, rather “doormatish.”
A doormat is when others take from you without your consent. They take advantage of you and walk all over you. They are doing it out of a greed and selfishness, for what they can get for themselves without regard for you; and you are too timid to speak up for yourself.
A Christian attitude is when you willingly give to others. You are sharing from your bounty and even from your need, but you are doing it out of love for others and especially out of love for God.
A Christian attitude does not mean you allow disrespectful behavior toward you. In fact, that is exactly what being a doormat is.
Wow! I never thought of it like that. I have asked this question before, but have never been given a satisfactory answer. Your answer is so succinct that it makes me wonder why I never thought of it that way.
the Christian attitude is based on love, and love for the other person means showing respect for him because he is made in God’s image. That does not mean enabling, condoning or accepting abusive or offensive or sinful behavior, because that would be disrespecting the dignity of his human nature, abetting his sin, and the very opposite of love.
That’s excellent and pretty much says it all. I think the saying of Jesus does not forbid correcting other’s faults but rather the notion of revenge. It flies in the face of the worldly notion, “You strike me, I’ll strike you back.” We should stand up for ourselves in a way that is christian but we shouldn’t seek revenge. That’s the balance one should keep when dealing with interpersonal conflict.