Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SMEAR (03/10/16)
- TITLE: Don't get smeared
By Steven Turner
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But much of the campaigning (at least as reported in the news media) centres on bringing down the other candidates, pointing out the faults in the opponentís character. So little of politics these days seems to be conducted in a spirit of co-operation. Even the attempts to form a coalition government in Spain focus more on differences than the shared common ground.
I recently observed children writing with markers on shiny card. Because the ink was slow to dry, they smudged their work and got black hands. The same happens when we carelessly brush against a newly painted door, or when an artist rubs charcoal on a drawing. Itís not possible to smear a substance without getting some on yourself.
The same is true in our dealing with people: often in questioning another personís character or motives, we find ourselves behaving in a way that reflects badly on us. Candidates in the US presidential race and British politicians for and against Brexit have been challenged over the manner in which they challenge others.
Perhaps our politicians need to take note of Jesus warning: ĎDo not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.Ē (Matthew 7:1-2, NIVUK). But are we any better? Often I have been quick to criticise other people, but Iím not keen when it works the other way. Thatís not to say we musnít disagree with others; and at times our voice should be strong. But it should be done with care for others or we undermine our own case.
Discussions on social media can become quite heated, sometimes nasty. For this reason, many forums have guidelines which include, ďassume good faithĒ and ďdonít flame.Ē They could also apply to our Christian lives. So next time you feel like roasting someone alive, the same may happen to you.
Or put another way: if you want to avoid smudges on your character, beware of smearing others.
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