Thursday, February 19, 2009

Be a Part of the Body: Rules of Engagement

I heard about an elementary school principal once who, when boys got into fights on the playground, would bring them into his office for a solution. Unlike with most principals of that day, they wouldn't get a stern lecture or quick justice from a wooden paddle (this was a long time ago). Instead, he would put boxing gloves on both boys and let them duke it out under his supervision. His philosophy, I suppose, was that boys will boys, and so fights will happen...but it was his job to make sure they happened in a fair way, and that no one got seriously hurt.

Obviously, school administrators couldn't do that today, but it makes sense in a way, doesn't it?

In adult life as well, fights sometimes happen. We are sinful, prideful, stubborn creatures, and we do often disagree. Sometimes our disagreements spill over into ugliness. That is true even in the Church, where we may be redeemed, but we're not totally sanctified. Rather than keep such hostilities under wraps, unity demands that we confront them...and that we learn how to fight fair. The goal should always be truth and unity, bound up in love. How do we fight in a such a way that God's name is glorified and His family is unified, even in our disagreements? That's the topic of this week's message from Romans 12:17-21. See you Sunday, and until then, no biting, no gouging, no rabbit punches...well, you get the picture.

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