Sunday, July 17, 2022.
The Bible, John 2: 13-16
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
- Did Jesus have to be ‘aggressive’ or he had to be diplomatic, talk to them calmly so that they stopped what they were doing?
If Jesus had ‘Seniors’ or ‘Counsellors’ to advise him on this, what would have happened?
Some surely would have counseled him to do exactly what he did (or congratulated him) – to stop the rot immediately. Some would have counseled him to be ‘diplomatic.’ They would say: “You can achieve more with ‘diplomacy’.” Some still would have counseled him not to do anything, not to ‘ruffle feathers.’ They would have told him: ” You will live longer if you just keep quiet and watch.”
This exists today in many forms. It is even more difficult these days with social media, when people can follow what one does from anywhere in the world. They may not have the fine details but they offer advice based on their different cultures and perspectives.
When there is a difficult problem to address, the advice could be numerous including:
A. Do nothing. It is better to be at peace with everybody and the system.
B. Go ahead with what you are doing or plan to do. The truth and facts must be known as they are. This is necessary for change.
C. Go ahead but be ‘diplomatic.’ Be careful who you offend.
With so many people offering advice, some contradicting others, it becomes difficult for a young person looking up to seniors for advice to take a decision without ‘offending’ some people. Whatever the person does, he/she is likely to have ‘disobeyed’ a senior person. And some seniors can be vindictive!
How does the young person respond without disobeying or ‘disrespecting’ senior people who offer contradicting pieces of advice?
I may not have the answer but what I know is that social media has made it easier to bring back every word that was written or said years ago, every action (or inaction) that was taken years ago… Posterity will judge.
What will you want if those you want to please now are no longer around (dead and gone, for example) and you have to explain your actions to your children and grandchildren (the next generation)?
Martin Luther King Jr. said:
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”
As I always say: Time will tell.