In our church men's group last night, we were discussing the topic of violence. The men's group has been reading the book, The Measure of a Man. This week, we discussed chapter 12, which dealt with violent behavior and attitudes. We had a great discussion, and many of the guys were transparent with one another. We talked a lot about sin and righteousness, anger and violence. I have been pondering such topics as the WWJD (what would Jesus do) philosophy, since a dear friend of mine and I have been talking about it this morning. I have been measuring my thoughts and attitudes, my answers, my actions, and such the past several days. I admit I am not perfect; I never claimed to be.
One can be violent in speech and not violent in deeds. Make no mistake, sometimes people deserve violent words. They may not respond well and the one dishing out the words may have the wrong motive and want retribution. Words are one way some people find that retribution. I admit that I am guilty of that. Also in those violent words can be the expression of righteous indignation, albeit encapsulated in carnal ways. Just recently, meaning in the past couple of days, I have been dealing with a great deal of hypocrisy from someone with whom I used to be very close. I admit that I let some sarcasm enter in.
In some cultures, the base of humor is sarcasm and there is generally no harmful intent. It is understood by both parties to be jesting lightheartedly. Other times, it can be mean or violent, especially when the recipient is not of that bent of a sense of humor. Intellectual victories feel real good, but are they worth it? I struggle with that, I admit. Such is how I may display indignation, irritation, and the declaration that regardless of what you have done to me I am moving on.
As I said, the book deals with those subjects, and I admit that I fall short. I am no stranger to lively discussion or argumentation. For the most part, I do not seek strife. It seems to find me. Quite often, I merely comment upon something in society, as I am a blogger and newspaper columnist. I have opinions. Yes, I judge (and Christians ARE supposed to judge, contrary to common misconception and excuses). There is a fine line, I guess, between having an opinion and being a shmuck.
When talking about being violent in the study, I thought of this: