Ramadan Day 26- Gentleness
Biblical instruction on resistance is usually understood to mean a Christian should respond passively to threats and violence by turning the other cheek. In the midst of severe Muslim-Christian conflict, a leading church bishop in Nigeria has repeatedly been quoted saying, “We have turned the other cheek so many times, we have no more cheeks to turn!” But Palestinian Christians, involved in peace, reconciliation and non-violence movements, explain Jesus’ teaching about “turning the other cheek” differently, saying that He was instructing us in an offensive-not a defensive-act of peace. Using a culturally relevant example of Jesus’ day, a person who slapped another on the cheek used the back of the right hand, an act of insult by a superior to an inferior. But by turning the “other” cheek, the victim is empowered, forcing the aggressor to either deliver a second blow with an aggressive open palm or fist, or resolve the conflict. The Christ-like response of turning the other cheek transforms the violent exchange, as well as the roles of aggressor and victim, communicating that the victim views himself as an equal redefining the relationship and forcing the oppressor into a choice: escalate the violence or respond with repentance and reconciliation. STAND “ONE WITH THEM” Gentleness – mildness combined with tenderness, graciousness, controlled strength, authority – Jesus was the living example. Today, during Ramadan, pray for the Holy Spirit to infuse persecuted Christians with the spirit of gentleness. PRAY “ONE WITH THEM” Lord Jesus, help Christians, particularly those living in Islamic governed nations, to steadfastly “turn their cheek” when faced with adversity, so that through their gentle spirit many will be drawn to You.