Regardless of what you may have thought of either American presidential candidate in the very divisive 2016 election, one thing can surely be said of both of them: neither shied away from confrontation! I supposed when you get to that level of office, confrontation management (of some form…) is a prerequisite.
Yet another reason you’ll never be voting for yours truly. Ever.
Confrontation is not high on my list of intrinsic qualities. There’s a definite art to it. Granted, some may seem to use only the sledge hammer approach when a gentle tap is all that’s required. Then there’s me. I’m like, “can’t we all just be nice and get along?” But the reality is, no, we can’t. And in this world unfortunately, nor should we. Much to the chagrin of the 1970’s Coca-Cola commercial, we cannot all hold hands and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony; we tanked that possibility back in the Garden, and it went steadily down hill from there.
Obviously, that’s not a politically correct observation in these days of nefariously defined religious tolerance. But I guess I’m in pretty good company when I read this little tête-à-tête that John the Baptist had with the religious elite of his day:
“You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
So, as mentioned earlier, I probably wouldn’t have put it quite like that, but then, my version undoubtedly wouldn’t have had the needed impact either.
I think it was Josh McDowell who penned the idea that sitting in a church no more makes you a Christian than sitting in a garage makes you a car, which is basically what John the B was getting at here. True impact will have something to show for it, consequences, similar to a wrecking ball on a high rise or a jackhammer on a city sidewalk. Observable, measurable, at least to some degree quantitative and qualitative defining differences.
The operative word, here, is impact. David’s small pebble backed up his words into Goliath’s skull. The Nazi’s needed a Winston Churchill approach, not a Neville Chamberlain look-away. (I empathize with Neville’s pain, believe me.) Or like one of my all-time favorite scenes from Lord of the Rings:
God has, not only His own sense of timing, but also His own kind of instruments to accomplish His particular purposes.
There are times He chooses things like the feathered quills used for writing His own words. Then there are other times when a little more force is needed, however uncomfortable it might seem at the time for whoever’s on the other end…
…like the hammer used for driving the nails into His own Cross.
Matthew 3:7-9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved