Whether we are two fighting 10 year olds or 60 year olds, we have a propensity to fight unfairly. Yesterday I mentioned the habit of character assassination. Today, I want to go a little further with these techniques (tongue inserted in cheek).
1. Make sure to start out telling the story in such a way that will emphasize your righteousness (overlooking your own sins) and equally emphasizing the other person’s sins. Be sure to read any and all possible data about the other’s motives in the worst possible light. Never give the benefit of the doubt.
2. If you are defending someone else who has done something wrong, be sure to protect them facing justice.
Some of these thoughts came to me during this week’s sermon on Judges 20. Note how the Levite tells the story about the awful Gibeah men but fails to point out his complicity in allowing his woman to be abused to death. Notice, as my pastor pointed out, how he generalizes from some people’s behavior to a whole people group. Notice also how the tribe of Benjamin fails to hold their own people accountable but closes rank to protect their own. These things are habits we easily engage in if we are not careful.
Or, how about a better way. Follow the model of dealing with conflict by first seeking personal assessment and repentance before pursuing the sins of others.