Forsake Offense

I’d like to offer a little perspective on current events.  It’s not for everyone.

When many look at what’s going on today they see an attack on their long-held values.  Others see sinister forces at work to prevent them from achieving a better society.  And let’s just stipulate that both are reacting honestly, in that their feelings are not fake.

What’s unusual today is the strength of those feelings.  It’s true that the media does its best to stoke the flames of those feelings.  But unless you spend your day glued to a media outlet, its hard to believe that you are significantly more agitated by today’s events than, say, those of the 1960’s (assuming you were here then).

So what is it about today, this time, that is so different, that elicits so much more emotional trauma and animosity against the other side?

Could it be spiritual?

Now, either you believe that there is a spiritual dimension to reality or you don’t.  If you don’t, if to you it’s all politics and man-made justice or injustice and “bad” guys, then you will not perceive anything beyond that.

However, if you are spiritual, or you have developed a sense of the spiritual, or better yet if you are acquainted with the Bible, you may have a nagging sense that something is fundamentally not right.  And I believe you are correct.

Why would it be that suddenly things that in the very recent past that were taken perhaps not willingly or agreeably, but certainly not with elevated emotions of insult and hate, are now cause for irreconcilable animosity?  Why would it be that what in the past qualified as political disagreement, but which was not cause for terminating relationships, is now that and more?  And why, for example, is it now considered proper to criticize Israel as a legitimate nation even from quarters traditionally favorable to a home for a people who have suffered such unimaginable horrors?  And perhaps more tellingly, why now should there be a growing animosity against America, which while far from perfect, has done more to alleviate human suffering and incubate human liberty than the rest of the world combined?

There has been a change.  And I would submit that this change is nothing less than the spiritual forces of evil upping their game.  Their goal is to divide people through any means possible, to get them, if possible, hating each other, but at the very least terminating their relationships with one another.  How better to destroy than to replace love and caring with disdain?

This, I submit, is what is going on today.  And it shouldn’t require quoting Bible verses to see that this is so.

We need to resist these forces.  When we encounter any challenge in life, there are two possible reactions: we can resist it and do our best to overcome it, or we can submit to it and fall into its trap of “I’ve been offended” mentality.  It’s a choice.  We can choose to be offended by the other, or we can, in so many words, “turn the other cheek”.  This seems to be the choice that events of the day are calling us to make.  And we need to make the right choice.