Turn the Other Cheek: It’s Meaning to Leaders

By | June 12, 2021

[June 12, 2021] Many say that the study of ancient texts is generally worthless.  Why learn something from long ago when there exists a technically, socially, and economically disparity?  My argument is simple, we can learn from the ancients.  One text is from the Bible and is also a misunderstood phrase, turn the other cheek.

“But I say unto you,  That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”1 – Bible KJV Matthew 5:39

 Dr. Jordan B. Peterson tells us his thoughts on this phrase.  Neither of us believes the Bible shows Christ – the archetypal hero – was docile or submissive.  In the stories of the Bible, Christ is a threat to the Roman social and political order of the day.  And they dealt with him accordingly.

Christ was disagreeable in the Temple and his interactions with the Pharisees.  He did not back down, even after Pontius Pilate allowed him to do so.  Whatever we may think of Christ’s religious beliefs, it is undeniable that He steadfastly followed the truth.  To use my words, Christ is saying that turning the other cheek means not being changed by threats or acts of violence.  Stand your ground.  Do not give in.  Hold yourself up and be brave.

The truth is the threat to an established political state, and the more oppressive a given order from that state, the more effort will be given to stamp out that truth.  If we do not turn the other cheek, we meet threats and violence with threats and violence.  We become that which we said we were opposing.

To turn the other cheek, then, is to employ assertiveness by refusing to back down or to submit to an authoritarian state by sacrificing what we believe in, which is the truth.  Thus, there is a great falsehood of all social and political movements throughout history that by not turning the other cheek, you bring about change.

The belief of Dr. Peterson, by using an unswerving pursuit of the truth, only then can we be genuinely a change agent.

In an earlier post (see link here), I discussed the meaning of “the meek shall inherit the earth.”2 When I look back upon these ancient texts, I’m amazed at what I did not understand and, in fact, seriously misinterpreted.  Today’s look at ‘turn the other cheek’ was my wife’s idea.  Thanks, sweetie.

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  1. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-5-37_5-40/ Additionally, ‘turning the other cheek’ is mentioned at least 8 other times in the Bible and within context.  This is no one-time quote.
  2. Meek means, in this context, not someone who gives up or runs away or turns the other cheek, but someone who is capable of force and decides not to use it unless needed.  A more literal translation would meek refers to those who have weapons and know to use them but are determined to keep them sheathed.”
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

13 thoughts on “Turn the Other Cheek: It’s Meaning to Leaders

  1. Greg Heyman

    Excellent article today, Gen. Satterfield and thank you. As a Christian, I like the way you get to the heart quickly on these points involving the Bible and other ancient texts. Well done and thanks.

    Reply
  2. Mark Evans

    For all reading this article, the point that Gen. Satterfield makes is summed up in this quote, “Christ is saying that turning the other cheek means not being changed by threats or acts of violence. Stand your ground. Do not give in. Hold yourself up and be brave.” Never ever ever give up. Geeeee, we heard this before. History repeats itself.

    Reply
  3. Army Captain

    I wish I knew more of this, that I find in Gen. Satterfield’s website, before I had joined the Army. That way, I would be a better leader at the more junior levels of my career.

    Reply
    1. Don Snow

      Yeah, but that was too long ago. Ha Ha….. 🤞 Like the both of us.

      Reply
  4. Audrey

    I also recommended highly that those who have not read or listened to Dr. Peterson, do so. He is great and very helpful. Esp, I recommend him to men.

    Reply
  5. JT Patterson

    Excellent article today, Gen. S. Hi, of course everyone knows me here as one of the longest fans of Gen. S and his blog. I don’t know him but I do truly enjoy his articles. This leadership blog blows the others out of the water. That is why I’m here. A real find. A real gem.

    Reply
    1. Eduardo Sanchez

      👍👍👍👍 I’m with you JT. Thanks for being so open about your love of this excellent site. And, to our advantage, no stupid wacko trolls to contend with as well.

      Reply
  6. Bryan Z. Lee

    Wow, excellent thinking here on the part of Gen. Satterfield and Dr. Peterson. Hmmmmm …. I would like to see more ideas gentlemen.

    Reply
    1. Kenny Foster

      I also liked his “the meek shall inherit the world” interp also. Just another reason for coming to this leadership blog every day. I also like his reading series; which has some of the best books on leadership you will find anywhere. My wife likes his Daily Favorites. A bit conservative but still spot on.

      Reply
      1. Janna Faulkner

        I love the entire website that Gen. Satterfield has now had up for years. Go back to the earlier articles for a real treat. 😊

        Reply
      2. Yusaf from Texas

        Well said, Kenny. Thanks. Let’s not always take things at what appears at first but look behind the curtain as well.

        Reply
  7. Fred Weber

    This is what is interesting about the Bible, so much of it is shrouded in misinterpretations by simple people like me. I take the words at face value and, in this case, I am wrong in believing it literally is the truth. Too much symbolism for guys like me.

    Reply
    1. Dale Paul Fox

      Just loving it. I read the Bible decades ago and now I’m re-reading it with a new look.

      Reply

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