The Promise of Peace

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The Promise of Peace

Genesis 1-2:4a

Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath1

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Final Greetings and Benediction

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

The Promise of Peace creates a sense of paradox for us. We yearn for peace that goes beyond mere tranquility into true harmony. Yet our experience shows a certain futility in finding it in this life. When we Cannot find it, we try to make by imposing justice and order around us. This experience, at best, typically ends the same as the story of the woman caught in adultery. Everyone drops their rocks and goes home. The older, more experienced folks go first. We just cannot stand to be held accountable to the same standards we want everyone else to follow. Even those Type 1 personality types who obsess over rules have a shadow side whose motivation is to understand and control the rules in order to escape being ruled over themselves.

God created our world to work in peace and harmony. It’s original state was not the one of separation and self-destruction we know today. Even those three short lines describing all of humanity, male and female, united together in God’s image seems like an impossible dream. Is paradise forever lost to us? We yearn for peace and harmony, yet cannot find and cannot make it. It would be a cruel joke of life to be left here. So where is our hope? Our hope is found in God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The truth is, peace does occur. Harmony happens… and every time it does, it is a miracle. Whether we are the musicians playing our part, the conductor communicating between the players, or the composers silently and invisibly plotting the details, it is the Spirit of God, responding to our invitation and mutual submission that weaves it all together. The path to peace is by recognizing our own part in it and playing it with integrity, in connection with those around us. It goes beyond base appeasement and compromise toward the edification (or building up) of the community and the individuals within it2. In short, the motivation of true peace is to join with the Holy Spirit and each other, to lift everyone closer to God, to the best of our ability.

Where do you see peace today?

How is the Holy Spirit prompting you to contribute to peace?


  1. (Gen 2:4b—9; Job 38:4–11; Jn 1:1–5)
  2. as opposed to only the community, as in utilitarianism

Prayer and the Unknown

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Prayer and the Unknown

Acts 17:22-31

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we too are his offspring.’

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

John 14:15-21

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

We have covered most of the day to day types of prayers we make, from prayers for help, prayers for guidance, prayers for personal discernment, prayers of adoration and thanksgiving, and prayers of confession and comfort. That is not an exhaustive list. Indeed there is at least one more type of prayer that we pray on a regular basis that needs to be discussed: the unknown prayer.

Unknown prayer? What does that even mean?

Sometimes we have a need or something we need to communicate to God but we do not know how to say it. Maybe we struggle keeping a reverent and respectful demeanor with God and are fearful about bringing up the subject. Perhaps we really don’t even understand the situation enough ourselves to know what to ask or say. Whatever the problem, the Holy Spirit comes through for us. Paul writes:

Romans 8:26-27

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

When we are first getting to know Jesus, there are a lot of prayers we pray like this. There is so much we do not know. As we grow older and wiser, having spent time with God, these prayers do not become less important, they become more important. The longer I follow God, the more I see how much I don’t know. Some may take this as a kind of anti-affirmation of faith… feeding the notion that there is nothing that can truly be known about God, but that completely misses the point. We can indeed know God, just as we can know one another. There are just always going to be gaps I this lifetime. There will always be room for the mystery.

It is a mystery that is meant to be embraced.

1 Corinthians 13:12

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Where are you experiencing the mystery of God in your life?

What prayers is the Holy Spirit praying for you today?

Wise Worship

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Wise Worship

Proverbs 8:32-9:6

“And now, my children, listen to me:

happy are those who keep my ways.

Hear instruction and be wise,

and do not neglect it.

Happy is the one who listens to me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting beside my doors.

For whoever finds me finds life

and obtains favor from the Lord;

but those who miss me injure themselves;

all who hate me love death.”

Wisdom’s Feast

Wisdom has built her house,

she has hewn her seven pillars.

She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,

she has also set her table.

She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls

from the highest places in the town,

“You that are simple, turn in here!”

To those without sense she says,

“Come, eat of my bread

and drink of the wine I have mixed.

Lay aside immaturity, and live,

and walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs begins with a statement of truth: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This fear, or awe and reverence is a significant part of what we all are commanded to do, so there is a sense that wisdom brings us to worship and worship brings us to true wisdom.

Wisdom brings us to worship. If we seek truth honestly and earnestly, we may first discover our limitations in understanding the world around us. The deeper we dig into even the simple things around us, the more mysteries and questions we discover… and God invites us to bring our wonder to worship.

Wait… what? Isn’t worship all about repeating doctrine statements in chants and in song and sitting through long explanations of what you are supposed to believe blindly? No, it really is not. You can come with your questions and pondering minds, hear real life accounts of the work of God from other Christians, and discover the long history of that wisdom passed down the ages in scripture. God offers real answers for you to consider carefully and thoughtfully. However, if you have already made your mind up about God and do not have honest questions and consideration, do not be surprised by a disappointment you have set yourself up for.

God not only brings us some, and I emphasize some of the answers we seek in life, He also asks us questions. A major part of growing in true wisdom is not just getting answers that sound good, it is refining our questions. We cannot find proper answers if we are not even asking the right questions. God helps us ask the right questions, and He often does that by reminding us of our own responsibility and part in life around us. Our actions, our words, our thoughts and feelings… they all matter and they do make a difference around us for good or for ill. Sometimes it is hard to see that when we are stuck in ourselves and cannot get an outside perspective. Coming into the presence of God and listening to His Spirit speak to us is one way that we can get a better, clearer, or at the very least different perspective.

Worship is not primarily about making us feel better. It is an act of aligning ourselves with the Creator of the universe so that we can actually be better. It is wise to worship and worship brings us true wisdom.

The Art and Science of God – Why is it so hard to get good employees?

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Why is it so hard to get decent employees?

Jonah 1

Jonah Tries to Run Away from God

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.”

The sailors said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” “I am a Hebrew,” he replied. “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.

Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah present us with an interpretive challenge. Part of me wants to believe that this may be another allegory, that this is just a fantastic tale like Aesop’s Fables – meant to teach us a lesson about faithfulness and rebellion. But there is a problem. This story is not just about some generic prophet, or even just some prophet named Jonah. It is clearly written about a particular man name Jonah, son of Amittai. This same Jonah is written about briefly in the history books of Israel (2 Kings 14:23-25). So at the very least, this is a fantastic story about a real person as opposed to a mythological person altogether. Jonah was real.

That brings us to another problem then. Was the great fish real as well? A giant fish does not seem so out of place with what all we have found in the depths of the ocean. Someone surviving inside a fish’s stomach for 3 days though? That is another story.

Taken as a whole, this story is either irrefutable evidence that God likes to mix things up sometimes and do crazy things in response to our faithfulness and rebellion, or it is an extreme example of God’s foreknowledge of us and how perfectly He orchestrates all of creation around our decisions to follow God’s will or not.

(Pause)

I think it is more popular today to go with the former assumption, that God does wild and crazy sometimes… but something in me still sees something familiar in the God who harmonizes everything. Is it perfect? No. If God’s will was always perfectly accomplished every day, there would be no sin, no need for a Savior, etc. Wild and crazy seems too much of an easy answer, but there has to be some flexibility – and that middle space is a bit terrifying.

That place between God’s sovereignty and our freedom to choose to follow Him or not, means that the whole world may be much more detailed and purposeful than we ever imagined. God knows how many hairs are on my head and how many grains are on the seashore, and if He is truly orchestrating this all together then that means He has purposes for every one of them. That would mean that people are immeasurably valuable. It would mean that the environment around me, the plants and animals I share this world with may exist for something more than just my pleasure. It means we live in a world of potential and God is letting us hold the reins. We cannot take them from Him, but we get to hold on and influence in our own small but powerful ways.

I suppose it is like becoming a new parent, being handed this tiny life that holds so much potential and is so intricately woven together. Fearfully and wonderfully made, as King David wrote. It is more than I can grasp.

It makes me wonder, what if I mess it up? What if I am not the good servant that God wants and that this world needs?

Well then, perhaps God has a great fish waiting for me as well…

7 Godly Sins? – Wrath of God

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7 Godly Sins? – the Wrath of God

If God destroys people for not obeying Him is it Wrath?

Psalm 118:14-24

The Lord is my strength and my might;

he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;

the right hand of the Lord is exalted;

the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”

I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the Lord.

The Lord has punished me severely,

but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;

the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I stumbled across this image1 this evening and intend to spend this week, looking at scripture and our common human experience regarding these so-named “Godly Sins”. I am not an apologist and typically feel that God does not need me to defend His good name… He does just fine Himself. However, these thoughts resonated with me, and several of them I have thought myself before. As Ecclesiastes reminds us, “…there is nothing new under the sun.”

The first sin, is God’s wrath, which is particularly relevant this Easter season as we proclaim that God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus. I won’t spend time spouting subjective opinions about the difference between the word wrath and anger. Does God get upset? Yes. Maybe all the time. It happens in both the Old and New Testament. God is not a round Buddhist monk in the sky pondering His navel. He cares for the world and everyone in it as the most loving parent cares for her children, and you better believe there is anger when those children are being killed every day – particularly when they are being killed simply because they love God or because they are unable to defend themselves. The quickest way to get your ticket punched in a bad way is to go after orphans and widows.

Even God’s own chosen people were punished for their misdeeds. Many of them (most all of them I believe) had opportunity to repent, and often some of the harshest punishments occurred when God’s own miraculous provision and deliverance was met with ingratitude or worse – the desire to take advantage of others. Let me give you a modern example. I have heard personal testimony about ministries that go overseas to help young women get out of the sex trafficking industry and help give them skills to make a living without selling their bodies. In more than one occasion, some of these women – who now experience the freedom and provision provided by God from the abuse they suffered as a child, go back and buy a young boy or girl and begin renting them out as a sex slave for money – thus making extra profit while remaining clear themselves.

How would you judge such a person? Oh, perhaps you do not judge, you might think. Would you befriend such a person? Would you do business with them? If they were working in the school system, would you let your children attend that school. Or would you instead judge them guilty and disconnect any relationship with them whatsoever?

God is the source of all life. When He disconnects from someone and stops actively blessing them, life ends and the consequences for sin (death) rushes in. I would argue, that every second someone, who is actively others, remains alive is another second that God’s mercy has tempered His judgment with punishment accorded them to lead them out of that destructive life and into a life that blesses others instead of tearing them apart. By my own standards, I think God lets some people live too long. But here is why…

God does not look upon only Christians, of Jews, or Muslims, or “good” people as His children. He loves every one of us. So, this is not like a parent whose kids are getting hurt by the neighbors or strangers passing through. God sees the mess of our world as his own children, like Cain and Abel killing each other in their own wrath and judgment. How it must break His heart to see us! Even in that case, where Cain rightly deserved death according to the “eye for an eye” rule of the great early lawmakers, God did not kill him but merely punished him by preventing him from enjoying that blessing of family he so easily rejected by killing his own brother.

Likewise, the psalmist above recounts not just God’s blessing but the punishment they faced as well and the way it helped lead them to a better path. They were grateful for it. If you don’t think God punishes us before we die and face the consequences of Hell, you are either living an over-privileged life or you are not in touch with reality. God’s wrath, as per the Bible, has far less to do with dying and going to hell and far more with the consequences of sin in our daily life here on earth. Without it, we are left with a God who could simply care less about us.

I think the crucifixion is a little oversimplified when we look at it as nothing more than Jesus taking God’s wrath for us. God was merciful in the Old Testament long before Jesus was born. For me at least, that crucifixion is a better example of our wrath poured out against God, slaughtering His only Son because we were not getting what we wanted from Him. Jesus gives His own take on it here:

Luke 20:9-192

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Heaven forbid!” But he looked at them and said, “What then does this text mean:

‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone’?

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.

When have you experienced God’s wrath?

How has it changed you?


  1. [Indeed+dog_027882_4149050]: http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Indeed+dog_027882_4149050.jpg
  2. (Mt 21:33–46; Mk 12:1–12)

Where does leadership power come from?

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Time and time again, leadership emerges from those who are able to keep cool heads under fire. Soldiers have seen this in the fields since the beginning of war. Keeping a cool head does not guarantee survival, but it gets the attention of those around who are struggling to be in control themselves. Control is central, or perhaps more accurately, the perception of control is what leads us.

Dictators rule by fear. They keep cool but spread anxiety to everyone around them, reminding them of the dangers, and make their voice the single point of authority. Firemen and Police use this tactic during emergency situations. No one takes a vote in a crisis – they just follow the loudest voice in uniform.

Monarchs rule by comparison. There is always a cousin or neice with aspirations to the throne, so they have to consistently point out how much worse the grass is on the other side of the bridge. They invite those around them to treat them with the care and respect as a symbol of how they feel about their own community. How do monarchs come into power? They submit to the public they they best represent the best face of the community and spend their time defending that symbolism. Homecoming kings and queens may not have the same kind of direct authority as dictators, but they get more airplay than those around them.

Bureaucrat rule by fear also, but in a more empowering way. They, like monarchs, present a series of options, but rather than presenting themselves as the ideal leader, they present the ideal choice as something they have a corner on the market and are the only ones who can deliver the goods. This is paid for security when it happens above the law and extortion when it goes on underneath. You may not know them, but you like what they offer and they send you the bill.

The last kind of ruler is the democratic leader. The democratic leader serves on behalf of the majority opinion. They are responsible for the sifting through the many voices and spotlighting the most prevalent ones. In a pure democracy the minority voice will always be drowned out, even if the groups considered “minority” change from time to time and in between different subjects. These leaders have the disadvantage of needing to justify themselves against any other potential leader.

There is a curious resemblance between the kind of authority projected by the leadership in democratic, socialist, and dictatorial leadership. Generally the shift from the former to the latter occurs with increased military or hired protection and the amount of political polls taken in the public decreases with the one exception of polls regarding loyalty to the leadership.

In all of the chatter about differing political groups, we sometimes forget that every level of authority is overseen by individuals. Even when those individuals lead as a team, they all have names, faces, histories, and aspirations. Battles are fought against nameless, faceless enemies, but peace is made between those who know each other by name. This does not only apply among leaders, the same applies for all people. In our age where information is the commerce of power even the most greedy and malcious minded of leaders will admit that knowing people is important for leadership. How much more so then for those who seek to lead out of benevolent motives.

The bottom line is this: leadership is about who you know.

““Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangerʼs voice.” – John‬ ‭10:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬

When should I fight? Part 3

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If you have made it past your anger and have taken an honest look at your own values and there is still conflict that is unresolved, it may be time to fight.

My experience of the world has been that it pulls us in one of two directions: fight or flight. In higher functioning circles these terms might be renamed aggressive persuasion and compromise, but they come from the same semantic and psychological place. Either we fight for what we want, or we give it up and live to fight another day. I am not, and have never really been a fan of compromise… it has always felt like everyone losing in practice rather than the kind of middle ground for which it is usually advertised. Nor am I quick to go to war (although I have been quick to anger at times). You can probably tell just from the fact that it has taken me 3 posts of asking when to fight before finally getting to the fighting part.

So here we are at the fight. Our conscience is clear, we know what we want and we are not just having an emotional reaction. We have communicated what we want clearly and there is still no change coming on our behalf. What now? Now we just have one final question to answer for ourselves.

What are we willing to pay to get our way?

That is a very important question, because for every cause, right, wrong, or indifferent, their is a cost. When fights occur, everybody loses something. This may be why I somehow hold some tendencies toward negotiation over violence, but dislike compromise. Fighting is costly, and if we are to enter that endeavor, we will pay the price whether we want to or not. Violence does not take IOU’s.

Whether the matter is handled in court, taking up court costs and our time, or through violence, taking the blood of ourselves and perhaps our friends and family as well, the bill will come to us and we will pay. It is as Ghandi says:

And, depending upon the relationship we have, or did have, with those we are fighting, their demise may end up hurting us and our family as well.

The most celebrated political leaders of the last century have largely held non-violent views. The reason for that is that violence and war is costly, and there are often more efficient ways to get things done. It is only when these other options ends that there may be need for fighting. To enter the fight is to admit defeat in the creative endeavor to solve a problem. Our best and brightest did not have to do that often.

I think this is why Jesus did not teach his disciples how to fight. He taught them how to live, love, and to sacrifice their lives for something worthy. He taught:

“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, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:43–48

So, if your loss of time, energy, money, health, and perhaps your life will do more good for the world and the things you hold dear, then by all means, fight on. But if you are expecting to enjoy the fruits of your labor (have your cake and eat it too), then you may want to keep thinking, keep dreaming, keep praying for another kind of resolution.