emotions are confusing.
emotions are confusing.
"The most useful tools I have found for dealing with bullies are kindness and grace."
This verse used to frustrate me so much! Why in the world would I let people walk all over me like a mat?! However, as time went on, I started to look at the verse in a different light. Too often our line of reasoning is, "Well, they were mean to me so I am going to be mean right back!" What Jesus seems to be saying here is that instead of retaliating, we should respond in a way that is quite surprising. How wild would it be to respond with kind words to someone's hatefulness? Instead of slapping the perpetrator back, we are diffusing the situation by turning our other cheek to them also. This interpretation lies in the wording.
"Turn to them the other cheek also."Jesus does not say turn away from them. For so many years, I interpreted this verse as meaning to turn away ourselves away completely and offer no reaction at all. This verse is not asking you to be stagnant. In offering ourselves yet again to this person in an act of grace, we are challenging their expected outcome. It forces them to reevaluate how the world views them. If you are insecure, and people respond to your outward expressions of pain with kindness, then it forces you to think that maybe not everyone hates you after all. Often times, the motivation behind hurtful comments is that the person is looking for confirmation that their suspected insecurities are true. That confirmation comes from the anticipated angry response. When you respond with something more along the lines of, "That was not very kind, why did you choose to say that? Is everything okay?" it shows that you are not purely angry but rather, concerned for them. I have watched people break down and cry when I have said those exact words, because before that point no one had stopped to consider that maybe they were hurting.
Now, just because someone is sad it does not give them the right to be mean. This is not meant to say that people are allowed to be bullies because they feel a certain way. There is no instance where that kind of behavior should be condoned. Rather, it is a call to act out of love. Two wrongs do not make a right, but an act of simple kindness and grace could be all it takes to stir a change in someone's heart. #liveitkind
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