Even worse than humanity’s general tendency to use our tongues as swords is the fact that so many Christians do it to each other.
It has always been so, because we are being perfected but few if any among us are perfected yet. But we must not accept this state of affairs. St. Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, is horrified that people there were filing lawsuits against each other and dragging one another into court. This is a failure on their part, he tells them.
“Why not rather put up with injustice?” he asks (1 Corinthians 6:7). “Why not let yourselves be cheated?” We are such poor followers of the humble Christ, who allowed himself to be counted among sinners, yet without sin.
I’ve found Bishop Robert Barron to be articulate and helpful on Christian nonviolence and enemy love. I recently finished one of his early books, The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path. On the issue of Christian vs. Christian, Barron says pointedly:
Before they even get around to loving or evangelizing their enemies, at the very least they ought to love one another, brothers and sisters in the same family; before they dare to teach others the way of peace, they ought to stop tearing themselves apart.
It might mean putting up with injustice. That’s exactly what happened on the Cross. There is no love without sacrifice.
Reads and Other Seeds
Thought provoking videos: Bishop Barron on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Provacative Nonviolence. Links here.
This post is part of a series (see Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence). Follow Sparrowfare to receive new posts by email. Please share the posts that speak to you. In this contentious time, let’s spread the word about the importance of our words.
3 thoughts on “Christian vs. Christian: Stop Tearing Each Other Apart”
I feel that putting up with injustice can be one of the hardest things to do, it requires a level of understanding that injustice is an inevitable part of life. That is something most of us are wildly uncomfortable with and many times leads us to lash out with our tongues. Quiet reflection during times and experiences of injustice can help with acceptance and healing but it takes a great deal of self discipline I believe.
Beautiful. I love the way you put that. I am “wildly uncomfortable” when someone attacks me unjustly! And without some quiet reflection I will lash out. Bishop Barron has helped me see Christ on the Cross as “the freest man on earth”–the divinity showing us that he is not afraid to take all the injustice in the world he made and bear it with and for us. Reflecting on the truth that the injustice I’m suffering is already a part of his suffering with and for me has really helped me.
I love this!
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