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Pointers along the way #697

Clash of natures

- Jacob Ninan

People can be grouped in different ways. One is to divide us as those who seem to stand strongly for what is right and others who care more not to hurt the feelings of others in what they say or do. The first group is quick to point out when someone does wrong. They can't seem to be quiet until they have proved that the man has done wrong. The second group knows that a wrong has been done, but they want to overlook it because they think it would cause a lot of unpleasantness which has to be avoided at all costs. Just think. Both groups have something right and something else wrong. The first group is right in saying that wrong has been done, but perhaps they go overboard in trying to establish and pin down guilt without thinking of whether it is really that serious. The second group is right that they don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill and cause unpleasantness to everyone. But they may go wrong in not calling wrong wrong and this may cause the wrong to go on.

The problem is that both groups think they are right and generally miss seeing where they are going wrong. So everyone continues to stay as they are, without any transformation into maturity. In addition, they find fault with the other group for the wrong stand they are taking! Both sides have reasons and arguments about why the other group's stand is wrong and how everyone ought to follow them. In fact, they have laws in their mind that tell them that in such and such situations they should behave in a certain way.

When we look at Jesus, we can see how balanced He was, doing everything according to the need of the moment rather than by any one-sided position. He didn't live according to any inflexible law which had to be blindly followed. No. He understood the spirit of the law and knew as things came up, when He needed to behave in one way and when in another way. He could act with compassion with the woman who had been caught in adultery without ignoring her sin (Jn.8:1-11). He could openly rebuke the Pharisees for their hypocrisy even though He knew they would be offended (Mt.23:27).

Perhaps we are beginning to understand that there are other sides to the truth that we had never imagined before. We may never have imagined that there could be anything wrong in the positions we have been taking. Our outlook ought to become broader and we must learn to look at things from the other person's point of view also. Have we been assuming that just because we knew that our position was right the other person's position must be wrong? Perhaps we are both right in the different stands we are currently holding on to, and we are both wrong in assuming that the other person is wrong. The other man may be working on another part of the truth we are unaware of at the moment! Once we remove this log of presumption from our eyes (Mt.7:5) we may be able to appreciate what the other person is saying and, as a result, become more rounded off in our life!


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