Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why We Fight

Five years ago, a British man videotaped his two little boys Harry and Charlie.  He then uploaded the video onto, so that the boys’ godparents, who lived in America, could see it.   Somehow, that little one-minute video began to spread virally.  Today, that video has been seen over 400 million times on the internet.  Harry and Charlie are celebrities with their own fan clubs.  What did these two kids do in this video that was so remarkable?  They don’t sing or dance or tell jokes or juggle.  Three year-old Harry has one-year old Charlie in his lap.  He reaches his finger around and sticks it in Charlie’s mouth.  Then he gets an expression of pain on his face, pulls away, and says, “Charlie bit me!”  Then he smiles.  And he reaches his finger around and, very deliberately, puts it in Charlie’s mouth.  This time, he yells “Ow!  Charlie bit me!  And it really hurt, Charlie!”  There’s been a lot of debate online as to why this video is so popular.  Some think it’s because the kids are so cute with their British accents.  Others think it’s because the video is so simple and authentic, obviously not some hyped-up grasp for attention and fame.  What nobody ever asks is the obvious question: Why does Harry keep putting his finger in Charlie’s mouth?  Doesn’t he know there’s nothing in there but pain?
 Click here to watch: Charlie Bit Me!

That’s the story of our lives.  We keep on putting our finger in Charlie’s mouth.  
  •  A second-grader yells at his teacher and earns a trip to detention. 
  •  A teenaged girl who is otherwise intelligent and socially healthy suddenly decides to spread a rumor about another girl which leaves her feeling so ostracized she considers suicide.   
  • A man and a woman who promised to love one another "as long as they both shall live" decide that they can no longer even live in the same house.   
  • A church full of people who share the same beliefs on the most important questions of life let division and conflict separate them to the point where they have to split into two churches.  
  •  A nation invades a smaller nation, leading to years of warfare and hundreds of thousands of people killed, wounded or impoverished.   
Why is it the same old story, over and over again?  Haven’t we seen the results of conflict in the past?  Don’t we know that fighting doesn’t solve anything?  Didn’t it hurt the last time Charlie bit me?  So why do I keep putting my finger back into his mouth?  I don’t know about you, but I want to know the answer to that question.  I’m tired of being bitten.  Fortunately, James 4 tells why we fight.  And even better, it tells us what we need to do if we want to live in peace.  This Sunday, I'll be preaching on this passage, and my prayer is that seeds will be planted that lead to reconciliation and peace in many lives. 

No comments: