By Greg Johnson
It’s Friday after school and the day is perfect for soccer. After getting Mom’s permission to call a few friends and go down to the school to play, you grab your soccer ball and head out the door.
After about fifteen minutes later there are eleven of you who have converged behind the junior high. One guy even brought four orange cones to make the corners of the field. You choose teams and start the game. It’s great living in a neighborhood where so many like to play soccer.
After your team has scored a couple of goals, three older guys show up and announce that they’d like to play. Since you’re playing six on five, it seems like a good idea. You know who the three guys are, but you’re not exactly friends with them.
For about ten minutes the game goes well. There aren’t any rough plays to argue about, so everyone’s having fun. Your team gets ahead six to four. On the next kickoff, a couple of kids on the other team decide they’re going to play with a little more “intensity.” They push more and one of them even tries to trip everyone from behind. They get another goal, but the player who scored it clearly pushed your teammate away to make sure he had a clear shot. The next time down the field one of the older guys does the same thing—only harder. You see it clearly and rush in and say, “No way you’re getting that goal, that was a push!”
The guy says, “I made that goal fair and square. Game tied.”
Two or three others from your team rush in and say that it sure looked like a penalty. He starts yelling that it wasn’t and says all of you are just being poor sports. No one on his team says a word while he continues to argue about the goal.
All of a sudden, one of your teammates declares, “You were pushing and tripping, no goal. Our free kick.” Well, that does it. The other player is so worked up he runs and tackles the guy who said it. You run over to pull them apart. As you do, the player turns and gives you a hard punch in the stomach. He is older, though not bigger than you. His punch moved you back a little, but you think you could take him. He turns to you and says, “Let’s go, wimp.”
Questions to Think On
• What are your choices at this point? What do you feel like doing?
• What is probably the best solution, considering all the potential consequences?
• If you fight, what are the possible benefits and drawbacks?
• If you back off, what are the possible benefits and drawbacks?
• Is there ever a time when you should fight, even if you’re a Christian?
What Does God Have to Say?
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. Proverbs 20:5
You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.