She had just finished baking five of the most luscious hot steamy cinnamon rolls. Leaving them on the kitchen counter she went upstairs for a moment but returning quickly her mouth all ready to experience a gastronomic delight. However, they were gone. The only trace of their existence was the scent and a trail of icing on the kitchen counter. In the next room an incredibly contented Labrador retriever lay sleeping with a smile on her face. Telltale white icing was on her chin and cinnamon was on her breath. She was nailed!!
The question remained, “What to do with her?” It would have been so easy to get angry. But how could that profit? It would only add insult to injury because every time we get angry we release all kinds of chemicals and stress producers into our systems. Each time we grow angry we harm ourselves more than the person or dog with whom we are displeased.
Sometimes we say, “He makes me so angry!!” But really no one can make us angry. People—or dogs—can certainly irritate us but the response is up to us. We can become furious. We can retaliate. Or we can “turn the other cheek.”
When Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek He is giving us practical counsel. Not only does turning the other cheek defuse the situation, it also reduces our internal stress level thus enabling us to live a longer, happier life. Everything Jesus asks us to do is for our benefit. He is so very sensible.
Written September 3,2002