My wife had just baked five of the most luscious hot steamy cinnamon rolls. Leaving them on the kitchen counter she went upstairs for a moment and returned with her mouth all ready to experience a gastronomic delight. However, they were gone. The only trace of their existence was the scent and tracings of icing on the 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 add insult to injury for every time we get angry we release all kinds of chemicals and stress detrimental to our physical health. Each time we grow angry we harm ourselves more than the person or dog with which we are displeased.
Sometimes we say, “He makes me so angry.” But no one can make us angry. People or dogs can certainly irritate us but our response is up to us. We can become furious. We can retaliate. We can turn the other cheek.
When Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek in the Sermon on the Mount He is giving us practical counsel. Not only does turning the other cheek not instigate more trouble but it also reduces our internal stress level thus enabling us to live a longer healthier life. Everything Jesus asks us to do is for our benefit. He is so very practical.
Written by Roger Bothwell on February 4, 2007
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453