One day a senior church member made a point to have me follow her to her Sunday school room because she had a problem with her room and wanted me to see it. The whole situation seemed like a trip to the principal’s office for a scolding. Sure enough there on the floor near the edge was a coffee stain. Dirtying the floor less than two square feet. You should know our church facility is not small. I myself am responsible for maintaining over 60,000 square feet each week. She gave me a brief scolding making my efforts for the week seem very unappreciated to say the least. Did I proceed to tell her about the other 59,998 square feet I had cleaned that week? What would be the point? Her focus was only on those two square feet. Instead I immediately apologized for the mess knowing full well that the room had indeed been cleaned earlier that week. I then thanked her for pointing out the problem. Then immediately began re-cleaning the entire room and not just the spill on the floor. She was very pleased and then reminded me to be more watchful next time. Again I apologized for the problem and thanked her again for bringing the problem to my attention.
Later that week after Sunday service that same senior member approached me in a much more somber mood. She informed me that one of her students had informed her that they had been in the room earlier that week and had a slight accident with their coffee. Did I relish in this newfound news? No, just smiled knowing there was something more to this. She then apologized for her harsh treatment of me earlier that week. Telling me that her week was going badly at the time and that coffee stain was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I thanked her again for telling me and told her not to worry. If there is another problem please let us know as soon as possible.
How many times have we done the same thing? We have all been on one side or the other. Upset by something else. Making assumptions about others. Determine to make our point and bear down authority over others. And then when we are attacked we look to retaliate. Again determined to make our point to the one who offended us in the first place. Becoming a very dangerous cycle.
When Christians persecute other Christians who can possibly be the winner? You’ve got it. No one wins. Can you hear Satan’s laughter?
If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you. Prov 25:21-22 (NLT)
If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also.
Luke 6:29 (HCSB)