Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fighting Fair

boxing glove
Last Sunday the sermon at our church was about "Fighting Fair."  The pastor said that if one fights fair in a relationship, that relationship is doomed.  The reasoning behind this is that we set a standard that we expect others to perform against.  When they fail to meet that expectation, we then believe that it is fair to engage that person on the same level at which they treat us.  Thus, if we speak reasonably to them and they lash out, it's only fair that we respond likewise.  See where this is going?  The relationship will escalate to the point that it disintegrates.

As I listened to the message, I thought about how we Christians are often quick to support the application of "Love one another" and "Turn the other cheek" to individual relationships.  However, when it comes to foreign affairs, we neglect to use the same principles.  On many occasions, I have heard fellow Christians explain that war is sometimes necessary.  Yet they would strongly disagree if I said the same about a feud with a neighbor.  And if it came to a marriage, most Christians would say that disagreements should be settled in order to save the relationship.

What defines a relationship?  Two humans in a marriage is a relationship, as is the interaction between the United States and a country such as Iran or Syria.  Saying we should be the more mature person and rise above the antics of another person in a relationship should also be applied to foreign affairs.  If we only retaliate against other nations because "that's the way they treated us," we will never achieve the peace we need and long for.  

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