What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Conversations in my Head Meet David's Fast: Cancel the Victory Parade

A couple weeks ago I was in the midst of a dispute. And was I ever oh, so very right.

So right, in fact, I spent copious hours in my head building my case and outlining my arguments. I imagined delivering the facts and my opinions with such dizzying perfection that my antagonist would have no choice but to wilt in the face of such a tsunami of evidence presented with such aplomb.

And then I read some Scripture.

David in the Psalms is complaining about his enemies. His enemies have set unfair traps for him. They gloat when he slips up, they prowl around looking for opportunities to attack. They are pursuing him now.

But when they were in trouble and sick David says that he fasted for them as if they were his family.

The footnote in my study Bible encouraged me to think about fasting for my enemies. My situation was a theological dispute, not a personal attack, but I sensed that this was for me.

I put aside my outlines. I shut off the debate preparations in my head. I canceled the after-discussion victory parade.

I decided that before I fantasized about dizzying my debating partners with my self-aggrandizing arguments, I was called to love them first. I spent one day fasting and praying for the people involved, the issue at hand (which was complicated) and for unity in the church.

It was astounding how much my heart shifted in even the contemplation of such a thing, much less in the actual exercise of it.

There are many very important conversations going on within the church about any number of hot topics. Many of them, however, become over-blown, and the people involved become overly self-important, as love goes out the window in an effort to win the battle at all costs.

I wish that all of us might grow up into David's heart towards his enemies. A little fasting and praying might do wonders for the tone of our disagreements in the church.

No comments: