Right before Jesus gets ready to go to the cross, a very interesting event occurs. And as a result of this event occurring as it did, Jesus then ends up giving us a very profound revelation that has application for every single person living today – both believers as well as unbelievers.
Here is the verse where this event occurs, and then the profound revelation that Jesus ends up giving to all of us as a result of this event occurring as it did:
And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:51-52)
This event occurred right at the point where Jesus was getting ready to be taken away for His crucifixion. The Gospel of John tells us that the person who took out his sword and cut off the ear of this servant of the high priest was none other than Peter himself.
When Jesus tells us that all who take the sword will also perish by the sword, you can immediately tell that Jesus is trying to give all of us a major piece of revelation. Some people have used another phrase to try and capture this revelation, and this other phrase is – live by the sword, die by the sword.
This comment made by Jesus has to also be connected with the other Bible verses on when God did actually have His people engage with the enemy.
There is a time to engage – but there is also a time not to engage.
You have to know when to turn the other cheek and let matters go as best you can – but at other times you also have to know when you have the right to either verbally and/or physically engage with an enemy who is going to try and hurt you or one of your close, loved ones.
This revelation from Jesus is like looking at a two sided coin. If you match up this revelation with the other verses in the Bible on when to engage, you will see that there are two sides to all of it.
I will go ahead and break this revelation down under the following two captions and cover both sides of this revelation for you.
These two captions will be titled – “When Not To Engage” and “When You Do Have the Right To Engage.”
Study both sides of this revelation very carefully – and then make sure that you learn when to engage, and when to turn the other cheek and let the matter go as best as you can. For some people, this revelation will mean the matter of their own life and death.
If you draw out your sword and attempt to engage with the wrong person at the wrong time, it could end up being your last day down here on this earth.
When Not To Engage
For those of you who still have children in your household and are continuing to raise them up in the knowledge and ways of our Lord and Savior, this is one piece of revelation that you will want to work with them very closely on, especially with all of the bullying that continues to go on in a lot of our schools today.
But this revelation not only applies to all of our younger children, but it also applies to all of us adults as well.
And as good solders of Jesus Christ, there are going to be times where we might have to either verbally and/or physically engage with an enemy.
So knowing this is the type of war reality we are all stuck with in this life, it is absolutely vital that you know when to engage and when not to engage with any enemy that should ever cross your path in this life.
Not knowing how to adhere to this basic, 101 rule of spiritual warfare has caused many people to be taken out of this life way too early.
1. Road Rage
In this first caption, I want to make some comments on when not to engage with your enemy. As you can tell from reading the above Scripture verse, God was not authorizing Peter to take out his sword and cut off the ear of that servant of the high priest.
That was why Jesus immediately moved in to heal the man and put his ear back on him. And from there, Jesus then ends up giving us this profound revelation that has application today for every single person – both believers as well as unbelievers.
Most of the time, I believe God wants us to turn the other cheek and let the matter go. If you are driving down the highway and all of a sudden someone looks at you and flips you off, you are much better off just turning the other cheek and letting the matter go.
If you decide you are going to try and get even with this person and you then flip him back off, you have no idea of who you are dealing with. This person could be a psychotic criminal who is just looking for an excuse to go off on someone.
If you flip him back off and he then goes off and pulls out a gun and shoots you, that could end up being your last day down here on this earth – all because you could not let the matter go and turn the other cheek like Jesus is telling us to do.
There have been documented cases of road rage where this exact kind of a scenario has unfolded and then someone ends up getting seriously injured or killed as a result. Especially with total strangers, you really have to be guided by this revelation, because you never know what kind of a person you may be dealing with.
Trying to get even, or trying to show that no one is going to push you around are not good enough reasons to engage in situations like this.
By flipping the guy back off, what you are really doing is taking out your sword and striking him back in the same way that he has just struck you.
And then Jesus perfectly points out to you in the above verse what could happen to you if you decide to do this – that you could literally “perish” as a result of pulling out your sword. In other words, you can literally be killed by another person for doing it. This is why Jesus is giving us such a major warning with the way He has worded the above revelation.
2. School, The Work Place, and the Streets
Another good example of this, and this one will really apply to all of your children who are still in school, is that many of the times a physical fight can be started due to the fact that someone called someone else a name or gave them a dirty look.
This can happen many of the times in both our schools, our work places, or simply right out there on the streets.
If someone gives you a dirty look or calls you a bad name, again, this is not a good enough reason in God’s eyes to enter into a physical altercation.
On these types of situations, you have to turn the other cheek and let the matter go. If the situation warrants some kind of a verbal reply, that is fine, but do not let it escalate to the point of where it then ends up in an all-out, physical brawl.
How many of our young teenagers have either been killed or seriously injured as a result of a fight that broke out because of some kind of name calling or jeering?
With so many people now having short fuses, this is one piece of revelation that has got to be worked into your young children’s minds at an early age so they are never tempted to want to be pulled into a physical fight which could then end up turning very deadly on them.
The risk and gamble is simply not worth it, and on most of these types of situations, you have to do as Jesus is telling us to do – and that is to turn the other cheek and let the matter go.
Also, do not let your pride and your ego get the better of you and try and tell you that you somehow have to get even with this other person.
If God will not authorize you to physically engage in matters like this, then you have to listen to Him and abide by His wisdom and let the matter go. If you don’t, it could end up being your last day down here on this earth.
3. Criminal Gang Activity
Another area where this revelation is being played out day in and day out is with all of the criminal gang activity we still have going on in many of the major cities across our country.
Many of these gang members are constantly killing other gang members due to turf wars. This is a perfect classic example of these gang members living by the sword, but then eventually dying by that same sword.
And all of those lives are being totally wasted and completely cut short because they were all violating this basic common sense rule and revelation from our Lord.
How many Christian teenagers have been lured into these gangs, and then they are either killed themselves, or they are now spending the rest of their lives behind bars as a result of killing someone else?
This is why this piece of revelation has to be burned into your children’s minds at a very early age so they do not fall into this kind of criminal gang activity once they enter into their schools.
If you do not learn how to operate and navigate in these three specific realms with the Lord, you could end up getting yourself seriously injured, if not possibly killed by taking the wrong strategy at the wrong time.
Most of the time your good common sense will tell you which is the right strategy to take.
The Holy Spirit will also be right there with you, and He will be giving you His guidance and wisdom on how to handle these types of situations.
What you will also have to do is override your flesh, ego, pride, and vanity – and rely on the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, along with your right thinking in the Lord as to when to turn the other cheek.
Your flesh and your ego will really try and act up on you, and they will try and tell you that you have to try and get even with this person, that you cannot let this matter go.
As a result, many people have been taken home way too early as a result of listening to their flesh, pride, and ego instead of listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit on the inside of them.
4. An Act of Revenge
Another area where you can get into major trouble with the Lord is when someone has harmed one of your close loved ones, and you now feel that you have to go after that person in order to exact some kind of vengeance.
However, the Bible tells us that vengeance belongs to the Lord, not to us, and we do not have the right, either in God’s eyes or society’s eyes, to take the law into our own hands and proceed to go out and kill someone because they have harmed someone very close to us.
If you take out your sword and strike this other person as a matter of personal revenge, then you may end up paying a very severe price. If you end up killing this person as a result of using too much physical force, you could end up in jail for the rest of your earthly life.
If someone has assaulted your son, daughter or your wife, you will have to go through the criminal justice system and let God take care of this for you.
God can work through the criminal justice system so the person who has harmed your close loved one will receive a fair and just punishment for their evil act towards your loved one.
But if by chance that person does evade the law and is never captured, you then have to rely on what happens after that person dies and crosses over.
If they evade the law this side of heaven, they will not be evading God once they cross over to the other side and meet Him face-to-face. And from there, God will judge them and deal with them accordingly.
And you can bet your bottom dollar they will be judged for the evil act they did on your loved one, especially if they never got saved and got this sin forgiven under the blood of Jesus. For many of these types of evil people, they are going to end up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone for all of eternity.
This is why you can let these types of evil acts totally go into the hands of God, because sooner or later God will be righting all of the evil wrongs ever done against you or those who are close to you.
This is why you cannot attempt to take the law into your own hands and try to take out your sword and physically assault this person as a matter of personal revenge.
Another major area where we will sometimes see violence occur is when one spouse catches the other spouse cheating on them with another person.
When a man finds that his wife has been having an affair on him, sometimes he is so hurt, that the hurt then turns into rage, and from there, he will either try and kill his wife or the person she has been having the affair with.
Just about everyday you will see someone getting seriously hurt or killed as a result of one spouse catching the other spouse cheating on them.
For those of you who have been on the receiving end of adultery, you know how easy it would be to strike out and hurt those who have hurt you.
But once again, when Jesus tells us in the above verse, that if you take out your sword and attempt to hurt someone else – you could end up getting yourself into serious trouble with both God and the law, as you might have to spend a certain amount of time behind bars depending on how bad you ended up hurting this other person.
Again – any type of revenge, vengeance, and payback in this life belongs to the Lord, not to us, And it is not worth ruining the rest of your life over for a brief moment of extreme rage and anger. If this should ever happen to any of you, remember what Jesus is telling us to do in the above verse.
Bottom line – let it go, fully surrender the problem into God’s hands, and from there, be guided by the Holy Spirit as to how you should handle this kind of bad development in your marriage.
But there is no way God is ever going to condone or authorize you to strike out with any kind of physical force against either your wife or the person she has been having the affair with.
So get those kinds of bad thoughts immediately out of your head should they ever attempt to try and get a foothold into your mind and your emotions.
6. Sporting Events
This next area where fights will sometimes break out is in some of our sporting events. And not only have these fights been occurring with the fans in some of our professional sports games, but they sometimes occur in both our grade school and high school sporting events.
Over the last 10 years or so, we have seen quite a few cases where the father of one of the players will physically assault either the referee or the coach, and in some of these cases, the referee or coach ends up getting killed due to the father going completely beserk.
As a result, the father who attacked the coach or referee is now spending major time behind bars – and this was all as a direct result of him not controlling his bad temper during the heated moments of a game.
Again, this is just total insanity where you get so caught up in the game, that you completely lose your temper and you then end up physically attacking someone else. And again, Jesus’ warning in the above verse will also perfectly apply to these kinds of situations.
By taking out your sword and attempting to strike out at another person, you could end up either getting yourself seriously hurt, if not possibly killed, or you could end up in jail for the rest of your life if you end up killing someone else.
There is simply no excuse for any parent to lose control over their tempers in the middle of a sporting event – no matter how many bad calls the referees may be making, and no matter how bad of a job the coach may be doing with his players. It is all a game anyway and it should be enjoyed as such.
All of the above are just some good examples of where we are not authorized by our Lord to be physically engaging with another person.
This is why Jesus has told us to turn the other cheek many of the times and to let these kinds of matters go, as these kinds of violent acts will always have some kind of consequences to them, and for some, these consequences will end up being very severe as shown in the above examples.
However, there is also a flip side to this revelation and this flip side is – that there will be times we will be authorized by God to strike out and properly defend ourselves or someone else. And this will now take us right into the next section.
When You Do Have the Right To Engage
What you have to do with this kind of a verse is put it into proper context with the rest of the Bible. As we showed you above, many of the times, if not most of the times, I believe God will want you to turn the other cheek and let the matter go.
However, when you study the rest of the Bible, and then put this verse next to some of the other verses where God did authorize some kind of physical engagement, this is where you will see that we are dealing with a piece of revelation that has two sides to it.
In other words, there will be times that God will want you to turn the other cheek and let the matter go, however, there will be other times that He will want you to either verbally and/or physically engage with an enemy.
As distasteful as this kind of advice may sound to most of us, here are some good examples of where you might have to do this in this day and age, along with some specific examples from the Bible where God did authorize this kind of physical force to be used against an enemy that would not retreat or back down.
1. David vs. Goliath
Without question, one of the greatest stories in the Bible where God did authorize someone to directly engage with an enemy and literally have him killed has to be the story of David and Goliath. As you read this story, there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind what God the Father’s original intentions were going to be. This evil blasphemous creature was not going to back down, so God had no other alternative but to send David down there to directly engage with him.
And when God sent David down there to directly engage with him, it was not for the purpose of trying to enter into any type of negotiations with him. He sent David down there with only one purpose and one mission in mind – and that was to directly engage with this evil giant and kill him dead.
And not only did David do that with one well-placed blow, but then God had him to take one more extreme step, and that one more extreme step was to literally come up to this giant, take out his own sword, and then use it to chop off his head. Talk about the full wrath of God coming into major manifestation against an evil creature!
2. The Jewish People
Other good examples of where God did authorize His people to directly engage with their enemies has to be some of the stories in the OT. When the Jewish people were walking right with God and had their act together with Him, there would be times that God would authorize them to go into actual combat with their enemies and kill them all dead. Both Joshua and King David had many of these kinds of battles occur in their walks with the Lord.
As we have showed you in our article, “Battle Verses of the Bible,” God the Father does have a war side to His personality and He can be stirred up to go into battle for us.
And sometimes these battles will be physical battles, where God Himself will either directly engage with the enemy, or He will do it directly through the person himself, such as when some of our local policemen are forced to directly engage with an evil criminal.
As long as we have violent and evil people out there who are always going to try and hurt other people, at times God will have no other alternative but to authorize some kind of physical force to be used against them if they will not back down or retreat.
3. An Intruder Breaking Into Your House
Now I will give you some specific examples in the times we are now living in where God may authorize you to use some kind of physical force.
The first example I will use is when a sexual predator has just broken into your house right in the middle of the night and he is now going to try and kidnap your 9 year old daughter.
You, as that child’s father, now have every right in God’s eyes to fully protect your child, either with a loaded firearm if you have one in the house, or with your bare fists.
God does not expect you to turn the other cheek and let this predator take your child right out of the house, knowing full well your child will probably be killed in the first 48 hours after the abduction has taken place.
We have the right to fully protect both our property and our families if a criminal were to ever break into our house wanting to do any type of bodily harm to anyone in that house.
This is why many people now keep some kind of firearm in their house, just in case something like this should ever happen to them. With criminals now becoming more evil, more bold, and more brazen, we see a lot more of these home invasions than we did 20 years ago.
4. Spousal Physical Abuse
Another major area of where some kind of direct action may need to be taken is when husbands or boyfriends start to physically abuse their wives and girlfriends. Spousal physical abuse is still a major problem in this country.
In these types of extreme cases, I do not think it would do the woman much good to try and fight back, especially if the man is much larger and stronger than she is.
What she needs to do, as soon as she can, is to get out of there and go to either family or friends, and then immediately report this violent behavior to the police so they can come over and get it properly taken care of with the husband or boyfriend. And if need be, get a restraining order put out against them.
I do not believe God expects His women to become punching bags and submissive doormats for their husband’s violent and psychotic behavior.
This kind of extreme behavior has got to be stopped dead in its tracks before it escalates to the point of where the husband ends up killing his wife, which is what we see occurring all too often in these kinds of extreme cases.
You may not have to physically engage with an abusive spouse, but you can directly engage with the situation by reporting it to the police and get them immediately involved so the violence does not escalate any further.
How many times have we seen in these types of cases where the husband finally ends up killing his wife, all due to none of the friends and family wanting to get personally involved to try and stop it.
Many of these women being abused like this are living in extreme fear and terror and they are too afraid to try and do anything to help themselves.
As such, any family member or good friend should be willing to at least report this to the police. If you don’t, it could be just a matter of time before this woman is finally killed by her abusive husband or boyfriend.
5. Child Abuse
Another very disturbing area is where one or both of the parents are severely abusing some of their children. Again, if any of the neighbors, families, or friends see this kind of extreme behavior occurring, I believe that God Himself wants you to directly engage with it, and the best way to do it is by first starting out by reporting these bad parents to the appropriate authorities in their areas.
How many of our young children have been physically abused and then finally beaten to death by their bad parents – and all as a result of no one around them doing anything to try and stop it because they did not want to get “personally involved.”
Again, this is where you have to directly engage with an enemy, and any bad parent who is severely abusing any of their children has now crossed the line and they now must be stopped.
If they are not, it could only be a matter of time before they end up killing one of their own children. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we now have to move in and immediately stop this kind of extreme behavior wherever we see it occurring.
Just imagine Jesus, King David, and Joshua living in this day and time.
Do you think they would sit idly by if they ever saw a child being severely abused by one of their parents?
Do you think they would do nothing because they did not want to get “personally involved?”
There is no doubt in my mind that if Jesus and heroes like King David and Joshua were living in this day and age, they would waste no time in coming to the aid and defense of these little ones to stop this kind of extreme abuse from going any further.
We, as good solders of Jesus Christ, should also do the exact same thing if we should ever see this kind of extreme behavior occurring right before our very eyes.
6. Our Local Policemen
As a result of a certain amount of people who will always choose to live their lives on the dark side, we have no other choice as a society but to have local policemen who will help enforce our laws and help protect us from the evil people who will try and hurt us.
And as a result of our local policemen helping to protect us from these evil criminals, they at times will have to directly engage with some of these bad and evil people.
Sometimes our policemen will have to pull out their guns and literally have to shoot at a criminal if by chance that criminal first pulled out his gun and then attempted to shoot at the police officer.
Either that policeman takes out his gun and shoots at this criminal, or he himself is going to get shot and possibly killed. In these types of extreme situations, the policeman has no other choice but to properly defend himself, otherwise he is possibly going to get killed himself.
As long as we have violent and evil people out there who are willing to physically hurt other people, God has no other alternative but to authorize physical force against these evil people when they do go on the offensive and will not back down.
Our local policemen are well trained to only use lethal force as a last measure, but with some of these evil vicious criminals still being with us, a certain percentage of these policemen are going to have to use that kind of lethal force from time to time.
And when they do, I believe God Himself will have no problems with it, as these very brave and courageous men are being used by God to help protect us from these evil criminals.
If God authorized King David, Joshua, and some of His battle angels to kill some of Israel’s enemies dead in the middle of actual combat, then I do not think God will have any problems with our local policemen having to use lethal force as a last measure when the criminal will not back down and he is launching an all-out physical attack on either them or someone else they may have targeted.
7. Our Military
As a result of all of the evil that is still in the world today, this leaves most countries with no other alternative but to have some kind of military in place just in case another country tries to move in, invade them, and take them over.
The history of our world is just littered with all of these types of evil invasions. Instead of letting all of these people live in peace in their own countries, many evil dictators and rulers have sought to expand their own personal empires by invading and trying to take over many of these other countries.
Most countries have now learned from the past, so each one of them now have some type of a military army in place to help defend them if this should ever happen to any of them in the future.
A perfect example of this in modern day times is when Saddam Hussein tried to invade and take over Kuwait.
The United States immediately moved in and we helped to defend Kuwait so that Iraq would not be able to take it over. As a result, a certain amount of people were killed in this defense and again, I do not believe God would have had any problems with some of our military having to kill some of Iraq’s soldiers since they would not back down from this evil invasion.
Same thing with WW 2 and Adolph Hitler trying to take over the entire world. I believe that we were both justified and authorized by God Himself to take on this evil blasphemous man and completely take down his entire corrupt evil empire.
If God properly defended the Jewish people back in the OT when they were walking right with Him, then I believe God will also do the exact same thing in this day and age where one evil country is trying to take over another country for its own personal gain and profit.
Bottom line – we just have a certain amount of evil dictators and rulers out there, and if any of them should ever launch any type of an invasion against another country, then I believe God will authorize that country to be able to properly defend itself.
I do not believe God will expect that country to just sit back and allow it to be taken over by an evil regime, especially if that country has a strong enough military to help defend it.
Our personal freedom is one of the greatest gifts God has given us, and none of these evil dictators and rulers have a right to try and take that away from any other country. If they do, then I believe that God will both condone and authorize them to meet that force head on with their our own military force.
8. Someone Being Assaulted on the Streets
Over the last 5-10 years, there has been more of an awareness of when bystanders are standing around and watching a criminal either rob, assault, or attempt to kidnap someone right in front of all of them.
As we all know in many of these types of cases, many, if not most of these bystanders, will stand around and do absolutely nothing to try and help the person who is being assaulted by the criminal.
Many of them do not want to get involved for fear that the criminal may have a gun on him and that he will then pull it out and shoot them if they try and stop the assault.
Another reason that many people would not want to try and stop something like this is because they do not want to get tied up with the criminal justice system, as they fear some type of retaliation from the criminal and his friends if they agree to testify against him in a courtroom of law.
So as a Christian, what should you do if you ever see this type of crime occurring right before your very eyes?
I think the very first thing you should be willing to do is to immediately get on your cell phone if you have one with you, and call the police and report what is occurring. Give them as much information by phone as you can.
In many of these types of situations, a policeman may be able to get to where you are at within a matter of minutes. Many criminals have been stopped dead right there at the scene as a result of a good law-abiding citizen taking the right action and calling the police from their cell phone.
Also, if by chance the criminal gets away before the police can get there, then try to take down his license plate number so the police will be able to quickly identify who this criminal is and where he may live at.
If someone is being abducted, you taking down their license plate number may be the difference of life and death for the person who has just been abducted, especially if they are abducted by a sexual predator, as many of these sexual predators will kill their victims within the first 24- 48 hours.
Another way to look at this kind of an extreme situation is with the following question – If someone was trying to rob you or abduct you, wouldn’t you want at least one of the bystanders seeing all of this happen at least make an attempt to call the police and get them there as soon as possible?
The other thing you will have to decide is whether or not you will need to get into the middle of it and directly physically engage with the criminal to get him to back off.
In my own personal opinion, this is where you will have to be totally guided by the Holy Spirit.
If you are a woman weighing only 120 pounds and the criminal is a large man who is actually holding a gun on his victim, then you are not going to be able to physically engage with him, as you could easily get yourself killed.
But again, you can still get on your cell phone and immediately report this crime to the police so you can see if they can get over there in time to stop the criminal from going all the way through with this evil act.
But if you are a medium to large size man yourself, and the criminal does not have any guns or knives on him, then God may authorize you to go in there and use physical force to stop the robbery or abduction from going any further.
And again, there have been many documented cases of where this actually did occur, with most of them being with men, since they had the physical strength to be able to directly engage with the criminal.
Again, just imagine if King David or Joshua were down here and they saw this kind of an evil act occurring right before their very eyes.
What do you think their response would be from the way they directly engaged with all of their enemies in the OT? I think we all know what their response would be.
As we have pointed out to you in all of the articles in our Spiritual Warfare section, from time to time, some of us may be forced to directly engage with a demon or a group of demons.
But in the case of demons, this will be us verbally engaging with them, as there is no physical engagement with demons since they are spirit beings and they do not have a flesh-and-blood body like we have.
Demons are cast out of a person or out of a dwelling by the Word of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit moving against them.
We say the right command words to drive them out, and then the Holy Spirit will move against them to drive them out of the person or the house they may be in.
But we first have to be willing to do our part in all of this, and our part is to be willing to directly engage with them by using verbal warfare.
I won’t go any further on this topic, as we have plenty of good articles in our Spiritual Warfare section showing you how to do all of this, along with the different types of battle strategies you will sometimes need to take to drive them out of a person or a situation.
When God the Father anoints men like King David and Joshua to go into battle and directly engage with an evil enemy, but at the same time, Jesus comes in the NT and tells us that if we take our sword, we will perish by that sword – I believe this is God the Father’s way of telling us that we are dealing with a two-sided piece of revelation.
As we showed you in all of the examples above on when we do have the right to directly engage with our enemies, there is no question that at certain times, God will authorize us to go into battle and either verbally and/or physically engage with an enemy.
As long as the Adamic curse is still fully in place on this earth, we are always going to have a certain amount of evil people who are going to try and impose their will on someone else.
And when they do, sometimes they will do it by using physical force. And when they do start to use any kind of physical force, this will leave some of us with no other alternative but to physically defend ourselves, as there is no way God is going to allow some of us to sit back and take this kind of an evil strike.
However, though we have the legal right to properly defend ourselves and our families when the situation dictates we take this kind of aggressive approach, we always have to make sure that we know when to physically engage with someone and when not too.
With the serious warning Jesus gives us in the above verse, if we draw out our sword, but God is not authorizing us to do so, we could end up getting ourselves seriously hurt, if not possibly killed.
Again, some of the examples we gave you above under that first caption are all good examples of when we should not be physically engaging with other people in this life, especially over trivial remarks or dirty looks that are made from one to another.
There is simply a time where we have to turn the other cheek and not let that person get the better of us. In other words, do not let the bad actions of another try and draw you into a confrontation, especially a physical confrontation, as someone could get seriously hurt, if not possibly killed once a physical fight breaks out.
On most of these kinds of situations, our good common sense will tell us when to engage or when to turn the other cheek and let the matter go. The Holy Spirit will also be there guiding us, especially when He will want us to turn the other cheek.
When someone starts calling you names and you find your temper starting to rise up on you, and then your flesh and ego start trying to tell you this person is disrespecting you – what you will then find is that the Holy Spirit will move in on you to give you some level of self-control so you do not let your pride and ego get the better of you and draw you into a physical fight.
How many criminals are behind bars for the rest of their lives because they had to go out and kill someone because they thought that person had disrespected them in some way?
Their flesh, ego, and pride may have been satisfied for getting even, but now they are stuck behind bars for the rest of their earthly lives, along with losing all of their freedom and their direct contact with all of their family and friends. And this was all simply due to the fact that they could not swallow their pride, turn the other cheek, and let the matter go.
This is why the Bible tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. And part of that renewal process is getting the right type of thinking put into our minds.
As a result of many of these criminals having the wrong kind of thinking operating in their minds, they end up committing evil acts that get them locked up for the rest of their earthly lives.
When Jesus tells us that if we take our sword, we can also perish by the sword, He is giving all of us a major piece of revelation that has application for every single person living today – both believers as well as unbelievers.
Bottom line – you have to know when to take out your sword to properly defend either yourself or someone else you may be helping, or when to leave it in its sheath and then turn the other cheek.
Most of what you will deal with in this life will require you to leave your sword in its sheath and turn the other cheek, or verbally engage with someone at best.
Any type of physical force should only be used as a very last resort and when you have absolutely no other other options to be able to take.
The laws of our society have it set up this way, along with God Himself with the way He has given us this two-sided piece of revelation from His Word.