Monday, May 26, 2014

Turning the Other Cheek

By Travis Quertermous

     On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play Major League Baseball. Although best known as a shortstop, Jackie played first base that day for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Prior to that historic day when baseball's color line was broken, the General Manager of the Dodgers, Mr. Branch Richey, has a heart-to-heart talk with Robinson. He warned him of the abuse and racism he would have to endure. Mr. Rickey wanted to know if Jackie could take it without retaliating. Jackie told him he would think it over and let him know. A couple of days later, Jackie called him back and said he could do it.
     And he did! The abuse from fans, other players, even from some of his own teammates at first, was even worse than Mr. Rickey had warned him about. But through it all, Jackie Robinson never retaliated and eventually won most of them over with his great play on the field and even greater character off it.
     Jackie Robinson is a great example of what Jesus Christ meant when He said, "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also" (Matt. 5:38-39). To turn the other cheek, not retaliating or responding in kind, takes tremendous patience and self-control. But if more of us did so, what a more peaceful world we would live in!

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the Church of Christ in Dexter, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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