I was teaching Sunday School last week, discussing Paul's exhortation about suing fellow believers in secular court (from I Corinthians). And a certain verse popped out at me. I Corinthians 6:7.
"Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?"
Those who know me well are familiar with my distaste for philosophical arguments that devolve into hairpulling, caterwauling ad hominem-storms. This verse sums up my position perfectly.
Sometimes, it's okay to be wronged. For the sake of peace, it's all right to lay down, turn the other cheek, let people walk on you. Should that be a habit? No. Should it be our first reaction to opposition? Absolutely not! But in some circumstances, it is perfectly fine to "be defrauded" for the sake of peace.
My problem with human argument is not the argument side, it's the human side. People, living breathing prideful people, are the ones doing the arguing. And without a massive dose of self-control, which is a rarity in today's self-indulgent culture, those people will let themselves, their human flaws, seep into the discussion. "Your argument is incorrect" is heard as "You are incorrect". And BOOM goes the insecurity.
My proposed solution to these repeated breakdowns, turning the other cheek, doesn't happen very much. Why? Because nobody wants to lay down. Nobody wants to be wronged. It's that ever-present human flaw, pride. People, in general, are proud, and the thought of giving up and actually letting the other guy win, well, that's just unthinkable.
Give it a try, dear readers. Just once, see what happens if you turn the other cheek. Not on something big--don't shoot yourself in the foot here. Wait for a small dispute, then lay down. See what happens.
Long live peace!