There’s a verse in the Bible about giving your coat to someone who’s cold. Most folks who hear that raise an eyebrow to the idea of giving up their warmth and protection from the subfreezing temperatures for the sake of someone else — a stranger even — but after a minute or two usually “warm up” to the idea.
There’s also a verse in the Bible about turning the other cheek and offering up the left if someone slaps you on the right side of your face. “Ahhh hell nah!!!!!” is the normal reaction to the thought of someone smacking you one time…let alone basically ASKING them to slap you on the face AGAIN!
But what if this verse is one of those parable things after all? What if it’s not talking about actually letting someone disrespect you like that at all?
Work with me here. What happens when a fighter catches a left hook on the right side of his head? His head turns to the left, right? (Did you see what I did there? 😉
So now the fighter who just got his right cheek slapped is looking at things from a different perspective.
What if that verse is actually telling us to do the same thing — to see life from the slapper’s perspective?
You see, hurt people hurt people and all behavior equals a cry for help or understanding. If someone is hurting enough that they’re trying to get attention by acting out — slapping someone, yelling, being mean to the cashier at the store, fat-shaming, however it shows up — then really what they’re “saying” is “I’m going through something right now, I’m feeling kinda crappy about myself, and I don’t know how to fix it or express my need other than by doing the only thing I know to do in this moment.”
So the next time someone “slaps you on the right side of your face,” take a deep breath and RESPOND (rather than react) by offering them your left — a fresh perspective:
Acknowledge that while it’s not okay for them to take things out on you, you can see they’re hurting on some level and spend a few minutes just LISTENING to what they’re going through. Chances are by the time they’re done talking they’ll have figured out what’s going on in their world and offer YOU a fresh perspective as well…and maybe even apologize.
And don’t be afraid to apologize and share with someone what you’re going through if you happen to slap them on the cheek. While “loose lips sink ships,” a “soft answer turns away wrath.” Life’s ALL about relationships, and relationships are based on communication, my friends.
ALL OF IT!
Got a story to share with me about a time you “turned the other cheek”? I’d love to hear it!