Sheath your swords, soldiers.

I’ve been struggling to find the best way to start out this post without sounding overwhelmingly cliche.

Goodness knows the world does not need another response to the craziness of life these days post. But my heart does.

We’ve had a lot of chaos going on recently. Supreme court decisions, gender and race issues, riots and rebellions over religion, acts of terrorism, debates over refugees, and more. What’s crazier than all this craziness to me though is peoples’ responses. When some new crisis hits the news circuit, I cringe because I know what’s coming. The opinions are about to come out of the woodwork.

No matter what the political or religious stance there will be articles and blog posts galore backing up one point of view and or bashing the other side.

As a follower of Jesus I am most often saddened by the Christian response. I don’t know when it happened but Christians decided it’s their job to police the world.

It brings to mind the Bible story where Judas betrays Jesus.

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

	When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with
 his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a 
garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who 
betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there 
with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of 
soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the 
Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward
and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, 
“Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, 
who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to 
them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he
 asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus
 of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So,
 if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the
 word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have 
lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and 
struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. 
(The servant's name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup 
that the Father has given me?”

(John 18:1-11 ESV)

They’re in the garden and the soldiers come to take Jesus away. Peter, oh well meaning Peter, decides he’s pretty miffed about what the soldiers have decided to do and ups and cuts a guy’s ear off!  Peter was supporting his cause, letting those guys know that they were talking to Jesus, and how dare they treat him like that.

What does Jesus do? Does he give him a gold star or a “oh thanks Peter for defending my name?” No.

He rebukes him.

Jesus tells him to put his sword away.

You see, Jesus doesn’t need to be defended. Believe it or not He can stand on His own. He doesn’t need us, however good our intentions are, wielding our swords for the sake of His name.

Our swords look different these days. They take the shape of words, conversations, blog posts, and most commonly, articles re-posted on Facebook.

But do you know what happens when you cut someone’s ear off? When you ferociously take a stance? When you argue? When you slander? When you defend Jesus on an issue he didn’t ask you to defend him on?

When you cut off someones ear, they aren’t able to hear. They’ll never be able to listen to what you have to say. They’ll never have the chance of deciding for themselves whether or not what you said was true.

We (myself included) need to think about what we’re posting, what we’re saying. Is it going to cut off some ears? Is it offensive? Is it being posted for the sake of everyone knowing your opinion? Because, honey, we all already know your opinions.

I urge you to consider how your articles and statuses would come across to someone with an opposite view. Would they be intrigued by your humbleness, or immediately feel the strokes of the sword you’re swinging?

Let’s sheath our swords, soldiers. And instead seek to understand with compassion, to humbly ask questions of the “other side” and tangibly act on our beliefs instead of just posting articles about them. Or maybe, just say nothing at all.

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