“…I say to you, do not retaliate against the wicked person. To the one who strikes you upon the right cheek, turn the other as well. If someone wants to quarrel with you and take your tunic, give him your cloak as well. If someone forces you to walk a mil with him on the road, go with him two. If someone asks of you, give it to him, and if one comes to borrow from you, do not turn his face away from you…Therefore, be complete, just as your Father who is in heaven is complete.”
Mattai 5:39─42;48, DHE
Yeshua’s very presence was an example of “turning the other cheek” and “walking the extra mile,” and he asks the same of us.
It is worth noting that adaptability is not described here in terms of altering one’s own values. Yeshua never encouraged people to alter their moral standards to be able to relate to others. He did encourage people to alter their need to be perceived as better than others. He might have partied with the am ha’aretz but he certainly wasn’t encouraging lewdness, violence, robbery, etc. He was just refusing to be so rude as to avoid contact with people. The key is that adaptability enables one to relate and interact with as many people possible without losing one’s values.
Adaptability also doesn’t mean changing so you will look better, per se. It is a good idea to dress nicely for special occasions, but one needn’t adopt the full character of a social group just for the sake of fitting in. In other words, adaptability should not push honesty out the door.
Adaptability can too often turn into (or appear to turn into), hypocrisy and/or dishonesty. Nevertheless, we are called to be radically adaptable while still walking a very fine line to maintain integrity. I think the key is in following Yeshua’s example and teaching even when it seems like too much of a stretch. He met us this far…He will be with us along the way.