I was driving behind a van today sporting a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t start nothing, there won’t be nothing.”
This line is from the Men in Black movie, apparently, but struck such a chord with this motorist that they felt the need to add it to their vehicle’s decor. I realized right away that the driver of this van did not want to be provoked, and if they felt they were, things could get ugly very quickly.
I couldn’t help but think that this is actually the way the world seems to be all around me now days. People seem ready to strike out at the first hint of provocation. And then this saying…it seems like a large population lives by this rule. If others won’t mess with me we’ll be fine, but if they start something, then it’s on.
But can’t we do better? What happened to turning the other cheek? What happened to loving our enemies? What happened to forgiving and looking over trespasses? Jesus was literally hanging on a cross, being mocked, bleeding from his hands, feet, back, and head, and said, “Father, forgive them.” But we say, “don’t start nothing, there won’t be nothing.” Hmmm. That just doesn’t sound right to me.
I don’t think we have to let people walk all over us or abuse us, but we also don’t have to always be ready to attack. There are ways to say things that are kinder. There are ways to say things that are calmer. Sometimes it’s even ok to say nothing. How about praying before we speak or react? That’s still acceptable. It’s not an old-fashioned concept. It is Biblical. God is still there on His throne offering grace and mercy in our times of need. God is still handing out wisdom.
I really do think we can do better. As Christians, I believe we should do better. Not everyone is even trying to start something…we could start by realizing that. After that, we could take an approach more like, “You start something, I end it.” I tell my kids all the time that I don’t care who started it; they can be the one that ends it. It’s all about choices. I remind them that they, alone, are responsible for the choices they make. I also remind them that 2 wrongs don’t make a right.
Let us be the ones that stand out from the crowd and don’t react with attacks and harsh answers. Let us be the ones that end it before it even begins. We can do better.
I’m ok with you,