Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This week's lesson (August 16-22): the Church

Everyone thinks they're David.

Even Goliath.

When I teach high school, for instance, it's easy for me to see myself as the underdog, valiantly doing battle against the giants of Ignorance, Sloth, and Adolescent Brain Chemistry.

Unfortunately, my students don't see it that way -- no, in their eyes, they are the plucky (yet hopelessly outnumbered) Rebel Alliance, bravely defending themselves against the unprovoked attacks of the Evil Empire . . .

Which would be me.

In short, we tend to see ourselves as David.

We tend to see our opponent as Goliath.

And regardless of the issue -- whether its evolution, foreign policy,  or the ever-vexing question of applause in church -- we don't think we can afford to compromise, to negotiate, or even to try and understand the other's point of view.

No, we don't want to give up any advantage -- not when the fight is already unfair.

And some fights are unfair; some fights do pit the weak against the strong . . .

But the next time I'm ready to use my sling-and-stone, it's worth stopping a moment to reflect -- to ask myself why someone who's bigger and stronger and nastier than me now sees me as a threat.

I mean, I know I'm David -- that's obvious!

So why does he think I'm Goliath?

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