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HOW TO AVOID THE VICIOUS CIRCLE

About Christ it could be said that 'he that was called names, did not so in return, he that suffered, did not threaten; but he gave it all over into the hands of Him that judges righteously.' His are the famous words 'if you are slapped on the one cheek, turn also the other one.'

Now this all goes exactly against (fallen) human nature. We want to pay back in at least the same way. And so start the vendettas, the endless wars of words, the feuds; until one party backs down. Sometimes a vicious circle comes about that keeps spiralling downwards to end in sheer disaster. For both parties it seems impossible to back down out of it, without losing face.

Have you ever heard of the concept that nature is in balance? Animals eat each other, yet nature somehow sustains itself in this vicious circle of natural violence. It seems that even human (evil) nature with all the infighting and backbiting keeps itself somehow in balance. Why is it that not all conflicts get totally out of hand? Examples are numerous of how arguments can go awry. This is not just a credit to human common sense. Just as in animal life so in human nature the grace of God is active, preventing us from making life totally impossible.

And so there is a balance between suffering and causing what Christ called the offences. 'Woe to the world because of offences. For the offences must come, but woe to the person through whom the offence comes (Math. 18.7).' This is not fatalism. Because of the Fall of man in the beginning of human history, the consequences must run their course. But you can decide for yourself not to let the devil use you. You can at least attempt to break the vicious circle by containing yourself, even by showing love; by overcoming evil through good.


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