Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Zerosum, Quiet & A Pebble


There are concepts and acceptable modes of behaviour which are indicative of the current health of culture, whether that be the culture of society or closer to home the culture of church or family. Game playing brings out the true character of a large portion of people, (which is why I don't engage in a wide variety of games) some character traits are amusing, some are disturbing and offensive.

We all have opportunities to engage in the game of life. Decisions are made daily regarding how we are going to play, what rules we may choose to ignore, what rules we expect others to adhere to. A zerosum situation is one in which my defeat means your victory, total conquest or annihilation of the opponent is the primary objective of the game. It seems we are brought up with the attitude of zerosum thinking all of our lives.

With the development of relationships, friendships and roles at work, we find that there are those who will never play by rules other than that which enables them to win, and attain that which they have deemed to be worth the victory. There are costs to this kind of behaviour, alienation from friends and family, distrust of any and all actions taken whether they are ulterior or not. The willingness to take advantage of weakness in others is the predominant character trait of these individuals or organizations. Their ability to search out and abuse the naivety and goodness of those around them knows no bounds, they refuse to be checked, or critiqued and in most cases will justify their action's in a manner of their own device and thought.

When confronted with this type of person or organization, we as Christians (believe me Christians are not exempt from the previous descriptions) are to turn the other cheek (no Jesus did not specify which, the Greek denotes jawbone) he says prior to that ' we are not to resist an evil person.' That's tough!! However the result which we would desire comes about as an outcome of our quietness. God says in Proverbs 25: 21,22,"if your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.This is a really cool way to be vindictive, the burning of the heart by being kind and the reward from God who is able. It involves my obedience in that I do not take the matter into my hands to dispense vengeance or seek retribution of my design. I must practice being quiet.

There are the opportunities in the development of close relationships and the communing of similar hearts that confidences and the secret thoughts and intents of the heart are exposed in light of accountability and love and forbearance, and edification and any other of the virtuous intents of brothers-in-arms. There are also those things that come to light that may or may not reveal the true character of the man, they may be areas of the past or present which when revealed bring dishonour to the person or organization, These are the pebbles in our shoes, which cause the whole body to limp,the smaller and least of things which cast in the light of the oppressive opportunity which they offer,are able to affect the whole body.

There are always those who will choose victory over all else, at whatever expense, at whatever cost, I only hope they realize the happiness that they seek. Amos 9:9 "For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake ... as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not one kernel will fall to the ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John, thanks for the recent blogs since Good Friday. Sometimes you remind me of a modern Francis Schaeffer - at first I'm overwhelmed by the depth and my brain hurts as it raps it's way around to understanding. But it makes me read it over 2-3 times because it grips me-that you have dived into matters of the soul that we don't often acknowlege let alone talk about. I also see traces of who you are, the depth of your internal struggles and the longing to be where you would like to be in your journey of faith. Thanks for your honesty and for making us face ourselves in many of those issues.
We don'l let ourselves think about them, let alone talk about them. Jill