"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Ecclesiastes 10:2
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37: 1- 11
“Blessed are the meek,” may lie behind James’ words. It counsels meekness in the face of grave injustice. Meekness is NOT (emphasis mine) weakness. It is “strength under control,” as Ray Stedman used to say. It is strong enough to refuse to retaliate against those who wrong us. It is great enough to be quiet, peaceful and unassuming in the face of grave injustice.
Jesus did not repay the worlds’ cruelty. He waited for the Father to defend Him.
Is it wrong to redress injustice when it comes? It depends. If we perceive injustice directed at others we must take up their cause and do what we can to defend them. Love demands it. Certainly, no descent person would stand by while another human being was abused, battered or defrauded in some way.
Likewise, it may be necessary to defend ourselves on occasion. It was Augustine, I think, who first pointed out that when Jesus taught us to “turn the other cheek,” he referred to the right cheek (Matt. 5:38 -39). Assuming that most assailants are right- handed (emphasis mine) and would therefore typically strike us on the LEFT cheek, Jesus was not thinking of an assault, but an insult — a backhand slap. In such cases we should, in deep humility, offer the other cheek.
No, I don’t think James is saying we must never respond to injustice. He rather was concerned with the attitude in which we respond to oppression.
Taken from David Roper’s Growing Slowly Wise