Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 22, 2011

To Retaliate or Not?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Some years ago as I served as the Director of a Baptist Association, I was named in a law suit, along with the association, for fraudulent activity. Although there was not even a shadow of guilt, the case went through the court system, all the way to highest state court.

During those long months, many became restless and impatient. I sensed a growing attitude among the churches that the association should counter because of the damage being done to my reputation, as well as that of Baptist work. I constantly sought to remind them that we had no grounds to become the aggressor. When asked to make a statement to that position, I suggested several things to help us refrain from attacking. Perhaps they can be of help to you in difficult situations and relationships.

First,  to attack others is not the character of a Christian. It is difficult to express to the world, even those who blatantly oppose our Lord, a spirit of love for them if we are attacking them. Our Lord sought to show us a better way. He taught us to turn the other cheek. We are not “eye for eye” Christians. We are people who seek to be like Him.

Secondly, to attack others gives ammunition to the enemy. Whatever we do, it will be turned against us. Think how others could use such an attack to belittle Christians. If we talked critically of those who might be against us, we would soon wear a label that is contrary to our commitment to love. Those who oppose us would see us as hypocrites, and we would fail to validate who we have become in Christ.

Thirdly, we must not attack others because God did not call us to be the policemen of other people or groups. This does not mean compromise or fear. We will take our stand when we must, but we do not have the privilege of correcting others as they exercise their freedom to judge us. Others can judge us, criticize us, and even attack us. We do not have to defend ourselves! Our Lord promised to do that! Our posture must be that of Him who stood against His critics and attackers of His day.

All of us will have our judges and critics. Many will look for reasons to belittle who we are or what we do. It is not the way of a believer to retaliate with the same tactic. Christ has a better way.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”   (Matthew 5: 38-40, 43, 44)

Lawson

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1 Comment »

  1. Thank you Lawson for the encouraging words today. You spoke directly to me! Duds!

    Comment by Dudley Henry — May 23, 2011 @ 7:46 am | Reply


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