Something has been rattling around in my head since Sunday morning. And since I heard it twice, it’s a pretty large rattle.
There is an idea that my wrong is more important than your actions permeating our society. For most of my life I have lived this way. Coming from a defensive posture that the world is out to harm me. And in some ways it did. So what do I do with that? Do I role over and just accept the wrongs that have been done to me passively? Become the worlds doormat to be walked over and trampled on? Or do I stand up and shout down any and all who even have a glimmer of attack towards me? Neither.
Our church has been going thru Romans chapter 11. This last weeks sermon was titled “The Third Way”. Our pastor knocked it out of the park with an idea for our relationships. Instead of passively not reacting or violently reacting , how about we creatively respond to the conflicts in our lives?
When someone attacks us verbally, emotionally or even physically we are told not to retaliate. Instead, we should turn our other cheek. This does not mean passively accepting abuse! Instead this phrase actually means we should look the attacker straight in the eye and say your attempt to humiliate me did not work. I refuse to hit you back and prolong this violence.
It is a passive way to stand up to someone. Thus quieting the angry spirit and discontinuing the fighting. Maybe that means you respond quietly to the child who is yelling at you because they are upset. Maybe it means calling the police if you are being attacked or witness someone being attacked. Maybe it means leaving a home where abuse is happening. Maybe you need to hide an annoying feed on Facebook. Or it can even mean NOT responding to some idiot comment on Facebook.
The third way is about creativity. Not about passivity. It’s about ending the cycle of violence and turning it to one of peace. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.