I’ve gone too long between posts (something that will no doubt occur time and time again – you’ve been warned) but the reason is that I have been stuck in an ongoing conflict with the local school system over my son’s education. Many of you know that my son, Jacob, is autistic. This year, Jacob has been in a separate setting classroom for students with autism and it has been a tremendous blessing. He has made remarkable growth both academically and socially during this time and he seems to enjoy school more and more. His teacher is also the parent of a special-needs child and so that gives Jeana and me an extra level of comfort as she helps Jacob along.
For reasons that are still unclear, the school system has announced that Jacob’s class will not be autism-specific next year and we won’t know who his teacher is going to be until a few more weeks go by. As you might imagine, this has caused us a great deal of stress and frustration and we have been telling anyone who will listen and might be able to change this decision that we think it is a terrible idea. Every person, and especially every parent, will from time to time find themselves in a situation where they feel they must stand up for their “rights” or their family or for what they think is just. Many people seemingly subscribe to the theory that all’s fair in war and will yell and fight and retaliate and go back and forth in an attempt to get their way. Christians, however, must always try and respond the way Christ would want them to act. And what is the first scripture that comes to mind when Christians think about how to respond to conflict? Matthew 5:39-41
But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
That’s certainly a good starting point, but some have interpreted this to mean that Christians should be passive “doormats,” allowing others to walk over them and never objecting. Certainly there is a line where this is taken too far. I feel confident if someone is breaking into your house to harm your family, it is not un-Christian to defend them. We are not required to allow someone to physically injure us without defending ourselves, but we are not allowed to retaliate for the sake of getting even. Most importantly, the manner in which we respond is extremely important.
I wrestle with where this line actually is. I want to do what God’s Word tells me to do on one hand but I don’t want to go to the extreme of being a “wimp for Christ” because He hasn’t called us to that. A wimp would have no need to “put on the whole armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:11) Here are three thoughts I have as I work through this:
I was discussing this struggle with a friend – the difficulty of trying to resolve conflicts in a Christian way while speaking the truth and she put it this way: “You should strive to be the sweetest squeaky wheel that there ever was.” I thought that was an excellent way of summing it up.This blog post was written by Brian Beasley - Visit Brian Beasley Music.com