Is it time for our politicians to start “turning the other cheek”? The short answer is yes.
The conventional wisdom in politics is that if someone attacks you, attack back quickly. They punch you. Counter punch back even harder. That isn’t getting us anywhere other than nasty then nastier attacks.
“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” Matthew 5:39-42 The Message (MSG)
Jesus was not a weak person. He got angry and chased the corrupt peddlers out of the temple. He could look you in the eye and call you the devil. There were many occasions where he took on the elite. He didn’t back down. That was him. He is the Messiah.
Jesus challenges us to state a positive message in response to an attack. You can “gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it”. This isn’t suggesting that you ignore someone who attacks you. It is suggesting that we practice the servant life and be positive about what we would do. Good wins out in the end. Love overcomes evil. We can live generously. We can elect public officials who are wise. One of our criteria should be wisdom.
How about something like this?
Media: “Candidate ABC said you are stupid and couldn’t lead your way out of a wet paper bag if you life depended on it. What do you have to say about that?”
Candidate: “I really like candidate ABC. I have a lot of respect for candidate ABC. I can’t imagine candidate ABC saying that. I’ll call candidate ABC and see if we can clear this up. I certainly don’t want there to be any hard feelings between us in this campaign. [Note: actually call to talk with them directly and don’t disclose the conversation]
I believe the following:
- Fact or position A that is a positive affirmation of my position
- Fact or position B that is a positive affirmation of my position
- Fact or position C that is a positive affirmation of my position