Reacting the Right Way.....
It is not our expirences which in the final analysis change us, it is always and only our reponses to those expirences.
When you live in reaction, you give your power away. Then you get to experience what you gave your power to.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”
~Charles R. Swindoll
Before the term "Christian" was coined for those that followed the life and teachings of a humble carpenter named Jesus, the movement and those involved with it simply called themselves "the Way." It's an odd thing when you first think about it, to just call yourself a follower of "the way," but the name is actually quite telling. "The" implies there isn't any other way, besides "the way, the truth and the life," which is how Jesus referred to Himself. And it's quite accurate. I believe that Christ came not only to give us everlasting life after our physical death, but to also show us a way that breathes life into every aspect of our being.
When I first came to Christ, reactions were an issue for me. I was impulsive with my anger and my mouth, and I burnt alot of bridges that took years to mend. So when I heard a teaching on "turning the other cheek," I balked. It was exactly opposite to anything I'd ever heard or been taught, and it sounded like an invitation to be a doormat. Who wants to be a doormat, I thought. If someone crosses me, their going to pay.
For a very long time, I believed that my way was better. I had to stand up for myself, I had to have the revenge. What I didn't realize was that under that attitude was a heart issue; judgement and pride. I believed it was my right to punish those who sinned against me, to judge their heart and motives, and to take revenge against the hurt they brought me. I had first of all usurped God's right to all those things, but the only person who ever really suffered was me.
Christ wasn't asking us to be a doormat, and He isn't asking us to be a push-over. He's showing us how Life is supposed to be done, He's showing us "The Way", the only way that works. Taking my own revenge and burning bridges had done nothing but backfire. It didn't make me feel better, it didn't make anything better. Turning the other cheek simply means trusting in God enough to know that He'll do what's right by all, and that God can take care of any situation we ask Him to. It also means softening our own heart enough to look at the other person and not only forgive them, but refrain from passing judgement...that divine right only belongs to God.
Once we lay down our "rights" and put our trust in Him, we take away the power that those who have hurt us have over our reactions, our thoughts, our lives, and we put the power back where it belongs. That's The Way to peace, the way to truth, the way to the kind of God beauty that Christ calls us to.