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Posts Tagged ‘Toxic relationships’

Some Facebook friends got me thinking about turning the other cheek this week, and whether it could possibly apply to sexual abuse. Obviously our impulse is to say NO! But I wanted more than a feeling to justify this interpretation, and today I thought of one. Turning the other cheek isn’t participating in violence. Giving your tunic to the thief stealing your coat is generosity, not participating in the theft. But if you comply with sex it’s consent and participating in the wicked thing. So I don’t think it would be right to go along with sexual abuse for the sake of meekness and forbearance.

I also think that Jesus’ command didn’t prohibit reporting criminal or sinful behavior to relevant authorities.

I do maintain, after all the above, that Jesus’ command is a radical call to patiently endure unjust suffering. I think of Corrie and Betsy ten Boom who endured enslavement in a Nazi prison camp – and faithfully tried to obey Jesus by praying for their enemies and being ready to forgive them. Jesus, I believe, called them to turn their cheeks to the soldiers dehumanizing, starving, and beating them.

And, in lesser circumstances, we have all experienced moments with friends, family, coworkers that were not edifying, were rude, where the other was self serving at our expense. And Jesus’ commands do not leave room for us to respond with defensiveness or self-serving actions of our own. What is best for those toxic people, those boundary-tramplers? Maybe they would be served by a firm enforcement of boundaries. Or maybe where they are at in God’s story for them needs more patience and forbearance, letting our generosity be taken advantage of.

One thing I keep in mind discerning these things is whether ignoring boundary violations from one person towards me would endanger someone else I am called to love and serve (and consider whether God wants that to be my priority in this instance).

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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