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Turn the Other Cheek

By Comeuntochrist.org
The Savior is sitting in a field near water. There are people gathered around Him listening to Him teach.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, “But whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39).

But what did the Savior mean?

As His sermon continues, the answer to this question becomes clearer: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).

As our perfect example, Jesus Christ served and blessed those who rejected Him. Even in His last moments of life he prayed for those who had put Him on the cross. 

Learning to love those who treat us poorly can be hard. When we feel underappreciated, disrespected, or used, it seems painful to “turn the other cheek.” Christ doesn’t intend for us to suffer at the hand of others, but He does want us to not do the same to them. Love and service softens hearts; retaliation will often harden them. 

Here are two attributes of Christ that will help us apply the principle of turning the other cheek.


Pride is often the source of bitterness and hurt feelings. As we follow the Lord’s example and humble ourselves, we will feel healing. Instead of asking “What’s in it for me?” try asking “What can I do for someone else?” Looking outwardly changes our perspective, humbles us, and helps us better understand others.


As we humble ourselves, we find it easier not only to forgive others but also to seek forgiveness. Letting go of grudges helps us heal and stops us from limiting our view of others. As we let go of these feelings and forgive, it’s much easier to love those around us and be happier ourselves.

Order your own free copy of the Bible and read more of the Savior’s teachings.