One of the most well-known demands of Jesus is to ‘turn the other cheek’. He says that when somebody hits us on our right cheek, that we should turn the other cheek. For a long time I have struggled at what Jesus was trying to get at here. I’ve read with interest what others have written about it but not been entirely satisfied. Certainly its not consistent with Jesus’ sayings or actions to think that he was saying that we should just allow ourselves to be mistreated by others. So, what was he saying? What came to me early this morning is that maybe Jesus was saying that no matter what punch is thrown at us, we need to stay on course–we need to continue to proceed with our daily, God-directed thoughts and activities. This punch, which might seem to come from a person, is really just evil. So it is evil, not the person, that needs to be handled.
So how do we handle and destroy evil? We “turn the other cheek”. We start by refusing the urge to punch back at something ‘real’. It doesnt really come from a person. It isn’t personal. Then, if evil isn’t personal, what is it? Evil is merely the suggestion that something can exist instead of God or alongside God– that anything can enter God’s universe that is unlike Her. Of course if God is All– all powerful, all loving, and all knowing– then nothing can exist beside Him. Period. No matter how much it might seem so. And we destroy this suggestion, this evil, in our thought by holding to the fact of a perfectly loving God creating and maintaining Her universe in complete harmony.
Evil tries to throw punches at us in many ways. It tries to undermine and destroy our relationships, our finances, and our body. It does this through the physical senses. However, we can be vigilant in declaring to ourselves that God is Spirit, therefore, we can’t use the physical senses to determine what is real and what isn’t. But as we trust our spiritual sense, we find the truth about God. And we find we needn’t fear evil or illness, back away from it, nor change our course– because we know that inharmony of any kind is nothing but a wrong suggestion, incapable of having any effect on us or our lives other than what we give it. As long as evil and illness seem to exist, we must continue to deny their existence, affirm the allness of Spirit, and the completely spiritual nature of Spirit’s creation– you and me. We eradicate evil not by striking back at an actual entity, nor by shrinking in submission to it, but by ‘turning the other cheek’ and by refusing to accept the evil as real. This keeps us on our course of demonstrating the allness and goodness of God.