Why Christians Shouldn't "Take Back America"

I firmly believe in the separation of church and state for the protection of the church! I think there is a Biblical and historical basis for it that we should adopt.

Jesus did not get involved in the state in His day. He was involved in religious politics, constantly dealing with religious leaders of the time, but that was the heart of His mission. He was sent to change our ideas of faith. It was a religious revolution of God incarnate, but not a state upheaval. Mark 12:17 is good evidence that Jesus believed there was a separation between the law of God and the law of the state. But Jesus' overall disregard to the importance of the state is a better example of how we should live. Jesus did not focus on elections or even speak about the governor or the empire. As religious leaders of our time we must concern ourselves with the hearts and faith of the people, not get distracted by state politics. The reason many Jews did not think Jesus was the Messiah in the first place was because they thought their Messiah would be a king and lead Israel to political independence. If Jesus wasn't worried about overthrowing the Romans, should we really be worried about taking back the American government?

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 lays the foundation for how Christians are supposed to act towards people who do not hold our same beliefs. Paul calls for the church in Corinth to stop associating with the sexually immoral. So they stopped associating with everybody! Paul corrects their error and clarifies that he was specifically speaking about the sexually immoral in the church. And that we are only to judge fellow Christians in the church. I know that sounds bad but he is saying that we shouldn't let our fellow Christians stay in their sin, we should confront them. However, those outside the church we are not to judge. We are to hold them to a different standard. A standard of love and acceptance because they did not sign up for the same moral code that we did. Judging is not the way that Jesus approached us and changed our hearts, so we should not judge them. Extrapolating this idea, I do not think it is right for Christians to try to change the state law and conform it to Christian morals. That would be holding non Christians accountable to the morals of Christians, just indirectly, through the use of the state.

Finally, if you look at history, when the church and state unify it turns out poorly for both. People are abused under church and state law. The state's lust for power nearly always corrupts theology, causes violence, and brings along false converts. It devalues the faith of the true believers. Religious leaders become state appointed officials and are chosen for political reasons instead of religious ones. And it leads people to think that the whole faith is fraudulent, that everyone in church is there because the state says they have to be.

I think taking back the country for Jesus is a bad plan. We should instead celebrate the separation of the church and state because religious freedom means that we are free to worship God as we please, and that is a beautiful thing.

Calvin's Institutes

So I read through John Calvin's "Institutes"

Here's what I thought.

Institutes Review

An Undivided Heart

'm currently reading through a book entitled "He Restores My Soul" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. These are some of my reflections.

An Undivided Heart dives into the subject of Christianity being more than penance. It is the idea that Christ died so that we may be full of Him, it is about more than removing our sin, it is about living our lives out in a way that is Christ.

The book argues that the first step to take in this direction is to focus on the Lord. An undivided heart is a focused heart. It is a heart with one goal and purpose in mind: Christ. This one goal, Dean says, removes all the other goals in your heart. This goal is a single mindedness of the pursuit of Christ. In effect, to pursue Christ with all you are, you must empty yourself of everything other desire, mainly the desire to pursue your wishes. It is once again a metaphor of dying to self and living for Christ.

The next step to an undivided heart is steadfastness. When I first looked at the principle of a steadfast heart, I thought you needed to be steadfast in the face of philosophy and emotion. But now I think it speaks to a specific emotion, and that emotion is joy. A steadfast heart is ever joyful of the Lord, and it is always willing to worship God. A steadfast heart knows that the Lord is good even when our circumstances are bad. A person with a steadfast heart can confidently praise the Lord because their heart is a heart entrenched in joy. It is faithful to the belief that a life spent following God is a life well spent.

A steadfast heart reflects on the gift of grace it has received from Christ and in turn is fixed on thoughts above. A mind fixed on heavenly thoughts more easily pursues God. This fixation on heavenly things, leads to a peaceful existence on Earth. If a heart is undivided and focused on God, it knows that God is in control. This unwavering faith in the Lord and His goodness makes worry irrational. Why would one worry when the God of the universe who intimately knows them and loves them is acting in their life? An undivided heart knows this and from it flows peace.

A New Heart

I'm currently reading through a book entitled "He Restores My Soul" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. These are some of my reflections.

This week's journey did a good job of leading me into growth. It started off and convinced me that I am in need of a new heart. More importantly, I think that God wants to give me a new heart, a heart for Him and His word, a heart for a new covenant. A covenant of grace and worship, not actions and law. This new heart means a new life, a life lived for Christ. The book spoke of Christ's life surging through me in an image I've never thought of before. It led me to picture a heart of golden light in my chest, regenerating the sinful body it was in. Bringing light into the darkness of my soul and soon having that light emanate out from me.

The description of callousness ruined me. It broke me. All I could think about was my own heart. I can feel how calloused and hardened it has been over the years. It was so much easier to obey and connect with God when I was younger. At times when I was sitting comfortably in the center of His will. I feel that over time I have continually chosen my self and my desires over Him, and slowly my heart has hardened. I can still hear His call to me, but it is easier to ignore now than ever.

Why do I do these things? I know that God knows me better than I know myself, but I refuse to submit to Him. I'm no better than Adam. I am rebellious in my heart, always going my own way, foolish to abandon the wisdom of the Lord. Even though I know these things, I struggle to obey.

The imagery later in the week encouraged me to great lengths. I felt even more refreshed as I pictured the blood of Jesus pumping through my veins and washing me clean like a dirty glass under a faucet of ever flowing clean water. The writer was prompt to remind me that God can root out any sin, and in my broken state I can still be made whole and clean again. What a wonderful truth! That God is the author of spiritual restoration and I can once again be close to Him.  

Replacement Theology in Romans 9-11

Paul struggles with the role of Israel in God’s salvific plan in Romans 9-11 much in the same way that Christian theologians have struggled with the idea in the past 2000 years. No take on supersessionism or anti-supersessionism is complete without an exegetical analysis of Romans 9-11. While this passage is most often used in support of the anti-supersessionism view, this paper will explore other varying degrees of supersessionist ideas that can be gleaned from these rich chapters. This will be proved by determining Paul’s use of “all Israel” throughout this passage. Compounding these views with Paul’s thoughts on the Abrahamic covenant, the reach of Christ’s salvific act, and if evangelism should include the Jews, one will see that Paul’s writings can be fairly interpreted as supersessionist in nature.

Much of the debate concerned with this area of research can be addressed by two key verses written by Paul in Romans. The first is the question itself, found in Romans 11:1, “I ask, then, has God rejected His people?” The second is the crux of the debate, Romans 11:26, “And in this way all Israel will be saved.” (Vlach 137) Obviously, depending on one’s own hermeneutics and interpretation of Israel throughout the Bible, these verses can be answered and perceived in many different ways.

Supersessionists are not uniform in their interpretation of “all Israel” and throughout the ages have offered several answers to who Paul is referring. The traditional view has been that Israel refers to those elected by God. These people are both Jew and Gentile, those who have been saved by grace through Jesus Christ. (Vlach 137) While this view has become less popular in the modern times, it was supported by several church fathers, including John Calvin. (Vlach 138) One could argue that Paul did not specifically speak of justification when talking about Israel being saved, but merely election. Thus, Paul is saying that these people will be saved based upon their call, rather than their faith. (Van Spanje 102)

The next view refers to “all Israel” as elected Jews throughout Biblical history. (Vlach 138) This interpretation normally depends on one’s own views on justification of pre-Christ Biblical figures. In this view, “all Israel” are those Jews throughout the history of time who have displayed faith in Christ, or more likely, Abrahamic faith in God. This is supported by Paul’s thoughts in Romans 9:6 that distinguish between true and untrue Israelites. The most straightforward interpretation of this distinction is those Israelites who claim promises based on birth and ethnic heritage as opposed to those whom God has “saved” through their Abrahamic faith. (Fackre 164) It is important to distinguish that this view is purely ethnic, and “all Israel” does not refer to believing Gentiles. (Vlach 138) This nuance in discussion of Israel in light of the Abrahamic faith is an important supporting piece of evidence. This is in direct opposition to the dispensationalist view that Romans 11 refers to Israel in direct form of national entity. (Dewitt 295)

Many in this camp have controversial views that have affected the credibility of a supersessionist interpretation of Romans 9-11. One debated issue is that of an eternal view of the Abrahamic covenant. There is not consensus. Some have gone so far to stake their belief in the whole Bible on the lasting nature of the Abrahamic covenant. Metzger states that, “if God does not fulfill it for all the faithful believing Jewish people... then God is not God at all and the Bible is worthless.” (Metzger 669) Another regards the salvific act of Christ unto the past. This backward reaching salvation is stretched to the limits by Karl Barth who believed that Romans 11 testified that all Jews will be granted an afterlife encounter with Jesus, where they will be saved. (Fackre 164) However, this should be rejected based on Hebrews 11:1.

Both of these larger views are focused on God’s saving work in reference to the past and not the future. An important way to reason this thinking as logical, is to read Paul’s answer to his own question in Rom. 11:1. When Paul asks if God has rejected His people, he does not respond by talking about the Olive tree, or a future saved remnant. Paul talks about himself, and how he is an Israelite, who God has not forgotten, through the death of his son Jesus Christ. (Vlach 139) Paul did not see himself as a partaker in faith, and thus not saved by obedience to the law. This interpretation points to the fact that Paul may have meant “all Israel” to mean those Jews who have been saved by Christ. (Fakre 165) This is a much narrower, but not unfounded, interpretation.

An interesting possible appendage to this is the interpretation that Paul used nuance in his wording when referring to Israel. Some argue that the different uses of “Abraham’s children,” “God’s children,” and “Abraham’s offspring” are references to spiritual Israel, or those who have been saved by faith. (Diprose 56) While Paul’s references to “Abraham’s descendants” and “natural children” are references to the unsaved Israel. (Diprose 56) While this would support supersessionist thought in Romans, it is built on weak foundation. The support of reading into this nuance goes back to reading nuance into Moses’ speaking of “children of God” and “children of Abraham.” (Diprose 56)

The third interpretation of this passage views all Israel being saved as an act of salvation but not of restoration. Thus, this view is supersessionist in the fact that it does not hold to a future role of promise for physical Israel, but it does admit that in the future there will be a great swell of Israelites who will come to Christian faith. (Vlach 140) This view is held by many of today’s prominent systematic theologians.  Erickson believes that the church is the new Israel, the nation of Israel still has a special future, and should be considered “the special people of God.” (Erickson, 1053) Wayne Grudem also thinks that Rom. 9-11 foretells of a widespread conversion of Jewish people, while still maintaining that the church is the new Israel. (Grudem 861)

All of these follow the supersessionist thought that Christ has fulfilled the promise of Israel, albeit to varying degrees. None of these would necessarily be considered extreme in their treatment of replacement theology. While some of these might fit into punitive supersessionism, this view is not clear from their interpretation of Romans 9-11. They are supersessionist to the extent that they believe that Israel was the exclusive channel God chose to reveal Himself, through His son, to the world. (Boettner 310) But the supporters of these various views are not in agreement on if there is further need for the kingdom of Israel. (Boettner 310)

Another important piece of evidence for a supersessionist reading of Romans 9-11 is how Paul addresses evangelism when talking about Israel. It is logical to think that if “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26) referred to every Jew, then Judaism would have to be accepted as a form of salvation. At the least, it would have to be accepted as a form of preservation of these people. Thus, it would not make sense for Paul to support evangelism or witness to Jews, since he would assume that they will be saved through their current faith. Without having to exegete any of Paul’s attacks on Judaizers and transpose them into this situation, one can find Paul’s thoughts on evangelism sandwiched in his thoughts on Israel in Romans 10. Paul first lays out salvation, “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:10) Then he addresses the need for evangelism by asking, “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10:14) This is particularity of Christ is a central tenet of the Christian faith and would logically apply to Jews in terms of evangelism. (Fackre 163) It has been argued by some that one could be a good Jew and be mistaken on the identity of the Messiah. (Soulen 9) This is not true in the case of Jesus Christ, Soulen explains that Jews reluctance to accept Jesus as God incarnate is a much bigger problem, because to be wrong in that regard is akin to a “grave violation of the prohibition against idolatry.” (Soulen 9) However, this particularity of Christ and His covenant superseding that of the Abrahamic is put into question when viewing Biblical theology. But in the terms of Romans 9-11 this issue is not fully addressed, and it is unfair to call Paul’s stance a “flat contradiction.” (Fackre 163)

To read through Romans 9-11 and say that there is no evidence for supersessionism to be considered a Biblical doctrine is inaccurate. (Vlach 3) It is clear that supersessionism is a view that is not entirely based on tradition and theory, but on exegeting scripture based on a valid interpretation of the Bible. While supersessionism may have grown out of the overwhelming theme of the New Testament, rather than on specific scripture, there are still specific passages that support the view in both the New and Old Testament. (Vlach 5) While there is an undeniable connection in history between supersessionism and anti-semitism, it is unfair to say that all supersessionists are inherently anti-Semitic, especially in light of the beliefs of current supersessionists. (Vlach 6)

To conclude, The view that Romans 9-11 is anti-supersessionist is not entirely true. If one is to look at the way that Paul defines the salvation of “all Israel” including his views on Christ’s salvific act of the past, present, and future, and his response to his own question of if Israel has been rejected, it is valid to interpret this passage as supersessionist. If one concludes that Paul viewed faith as the true marker of the Abrahamic covenant, it does not even matter if he believed the covenant was eternal in regards to Israel. Finally, it is hard to reconcile the belief of anti-supersessionism and the thought that all Israel will be saved in the future, with Paul’s thoughts on evangelism detailed in Romans 10.

Vlach, Michael J. Has the Church Replaced Israel?
Erickson, M.J. Christian Theology, 2nd Ed.
Grudem, W. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
Fackre, G. Ecumenical Faith in Evangelical Perspective
Soulen, R.K. The God of Israel and Christian Theology
Van Spanje, T.E. Inconsistency in Paul?
Metzger, John B. Discovering the Mystery of the Unity of God
Dewitt, Dale Dispensational Theology in America During the Twentieth Century
Diprose, Ronald E. Israel and the Church: The Origin and Effects of Replacement Theology
Boettner The Millenium

My Take on the Prodigal Son

I had an assignment for one of my classes. I had to write a paper, but the paper had to be in a sermon format.

This is what I came up with.

The sermon format is the reason for the different style. Check it out, I hope you can take something away from it and I'd like to know what you think about it.

As a note, two writers, Keller and Bock really influenced my thinking on this topic.

Student Ministry Sermon on the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

11 And he said, "There was a man who had two sons.12 And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them.13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.15 So he went and hired himself out tot one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants."'20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'t 22 But the father said to his servants,t 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate.

25 "Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.27 And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.'28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,29 but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!'31 And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'" -Luke 15:11-32 (ESV)

Today, we are going to explore the story known as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.” It is a parable told by Jesus in the book of Luke. It is a famous passage, many of you have probably heard the name “Prodigal Son” before but it is more accurate to go along with some versions of the Bible that call this the “Parable of the Two Sons” because this story has many facets. Let’s look at the first part of the story, read through verses 11 to 16.

Now like most young people we see today that come into a lot of money very quickly, the youngest son blew his wealth. This translation says he squandered his wealth on “reckless living.” If you look into some other translations you can infer that the young man spent his money on women, partying, and every form of excess you can imagine. He set out to enjoy every worldly indulgence he could think of and lived it up for a time.

Eventually he uses up all of his money, and the story says that there was a famine so people were in dire straights. It was hard to find work and food. In a way it is similar to today. The economy is doing poorly, so a lot of people are having a hard time finding work. It just makes for a lot of people scraping by.

I like to picture this young man growing up wealthy in his father’s home, not having to work for much and generally living a life of luxury. Now he is working as a farmhand tending and feeding the pigs!

Things are bad for the youngest son. He is living in the dirty pig sty, knee deep in the pigs’ waste. He is in need. He is hungry. In fact, he is so hungry, Jesus says he starts looking longingly at the slop that he is giving to the pigs.

Hold on. Do you know what pigs eat? Have you ever been on a farm and seen what farmers feed their pigs? Pigs are known to eat anything. I mean anything. Farmers regularly feed their pigs all the scraps that the people and other animals on the farm wouldn’t eat. They throw it in a big tub and mix it all up and make this foul smelling slop of leftover scraps. That was appetizing to this guy.

Let’s keep going, look with me at the next few verses. Read verses 17 to 24.

The young man knows he is in squalor, and remembers his fathers house. He looks at his life and knows that his father’s servants live better than he is living now. He has no hope to be treated as his father’s son again. He doesn’t think there is anyway that his father would accept him into the home and make him heir of the estate again, he just wants a job. He hopes that he can crawl on his hands and knees, beg his father for forgiveness, and work for him. He knows he hurt his father, dishonored him, and insulted him. The son is just hoping that his father is compassionate enough to let him go work in the field.

So the man swallows his pride and heads back to his father’s house, with his speech prepared on how he will ask for forgiveness. But something astounding happens. The father sees him coming while he was still far away. The father was looking and waiting for his son. Quickly, the father runs out to his son. He embraces his son and the son tells his father that he’s not worthy of this warm welcome. The father responds by calling his servants to immediately adorn the son with a robe, ring, and shoes. This signifies that the father is reinstating the son as his heir, bringing him back into the home. The father is giving the son back his full status as son. The father doesn’t make the son pay. He doesn’t make the son beg. The father immediately accepts him and rejoices. He throws a party to celebrate the son’s return.

At this point it is important to clarify who the people in this story are. Jesus is telling this story and makes it clear that the father is God and the youngest son represents all of us sinners in the world. This story explains some huge points about God’s relationship toward those that turn away from Him.

I’ve done this in my life. I have told God that I didn’t want Him around, just give me what’s mine and let me live my life. I’ve said, “I don’t need you, God.” There are many stories of us running away in our own way. Squandering all the blessings that God has given us on our selfish desires. How many of your friends don’t want anything to do with God and try to find joy in partying, drugs, sex?

It is so natural for us to do this. We want God to give us what we think we deserve, and we chase after everything we think will make us happy. We fulfill every desire in us, just consuming what feels good. Its called hedonism, we just keep chasing after pleasure not withholding from anything.

You and I, we end up just like the prodigal son. We use up all we have in the pursuit of pleasure and end up broke, sad, empty, lonely, and miserable. When I see this, I just think of rock stars. Do you ever watch those shows on VH1 about big time rock stars? The ones about how after they’ve become rich and famous, their lives spiral out of control. Why is that so common? Why does that seem to happen to so many people that look like they have everything that should make them happy?

Its because this selfish pleasure is not enough. Addiction can pounce on you and get a hold of you quick. You can end up like the prodigal son, scarred from doing nothing but serving yourself, and worse off than before.

The youngest son reaches rock bottom and remembers his father. It takes courage what he did. It takes courage for us to do the same. But when you are in that place, when you are sitting in the pig pen like the son, you realize you don’t have any other choice.

The youngest son returns to his father to beg for forgiveness. When we turn to God and ask for forgiveness, He treats us the same way that the father in this parable does. He runs to us! He embraces us! He accepts us before we can even say a word.

I love that phrase in verse 20, “while he was a long way off.” God will accept you even if you are a long way off. You don’t have to have your life in order. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be clean. You don’t have to be living right before you come to Him. Come to Him as you are and He will accept you.

God rejoices when we return to Him. He celebrates in heaven, and He immediately restores us as His children. Romans 8 says that when we turn to the Lord, He makes us coheirs with Christ. We are His children like Christ is His son. It is an amazing and hopeful promise. When we repent, God says we are alive again in Christ, no longer dead in sin. No longer lost in the world, we are found in Him.

What’s interesting is there is still another part to this parable. It deals with the older son. Let’s finish up this parable. Read with me verses 25 to 32.

The older brother hears the commotion while he is out working in the field. When he finds out there is a celebration for his brother’s return he gets mad. He refuses to join the party. The father comes out to him and asks his son what’s wrong. The son responds by saying that he is angry at the father. The son says that he has worked hard for his father and has been perfect but the father doesn’t ever celebrate him and give him the party he desires. The father is surprised and says “all that is mine is yours.” The father then invites the son to celebrate with the family.

Why is this part in here? Why didn’t Jesus leave this part out? He could have had this great story about forgiveness and now he soured it with this jealous older brother. Well the reason is interesting. If you look back in Luke, you see that Jesus was not telling this story to sinners or common people that were thought of as unholy. Jesus was talking to the church people of the time. He was talking to the Pharisees. These guys were super holy, they lived the law to perfection, their job was to be holy.

They are the older brother in this story, the religious people. And guess what, if you are here in church today, you might be the older brother in this story. I know this hits me hard. I’ve always been a pretty good kid, grown up in the church and did the right things. Jesus knows people like me and warns us of what can happen.

It is easy for us religious people to follow the commandments like the older brother and expect things in return. We go to church, we do what we’re supposed to do, we sing the right songs, we say the right things, and we get self righteous. We think we’re so good that we deserve our father’s inheritance. We think we deserve the grace that God has given us. And when we pray to Him, asking for our “young goat,” and He doesn’t give them to us, we get angry. Sometimes we look across the row and see the Lord giving that thing we want to a “sinner!” We get even more mad. The Lord should give that to us! We deserve it!

Jesus is reminding us we don’t deserve anything. No one deserves anything from the Father. We are all sinners. We all fall short of the glory of God. Nobody is good enough, follows the law well enough, lives a good enough life to earn anything from God. When we think we do, we let that self righteous seep into our lives. Soon, we think we don’t need a savior either.

That in itself is sin. This parable is reminding us that we are all sinners. For some of us our sin is expressed in our selfish lifestyles, our empty pleasure seeking. For others, our sin is expressed in our self righteousness and our legalism. But the beauty of this story is that God wants us both to come to the party. God will accept all of us if we turn to Him. He will throw a robe around our shoulders and welcome us back into His presence. He is a God of forgiveness, mercy, grace, and compassion

It's Not My Fault

I was hanging out with some guys today and we were talking about the importance of accepting responsibility for your actions. That's what a REAL man does. One of the points was that we need to own up to our mistakes and simply say "I'm sorry" and "I was wrong."

One of the guys talked about how he was learning to say "I'm sorry" more. He even said that he was apologizing at times when he didn't think he was wrong.

This got me thinking. I think this is a huge life lesson that he mentioned when we were hanging out. How many times in our life do we refuse to accept responsiblity for mistakes? How many times in our life do we refuse to apologize to people because we think that they are wrong? We say, "I don't need to apologize, he needs to apologize."

There's a couple of important things to remember here. I know that many times in my life I look back on a past argument or spat where I thought I was in the right, and then I realize I still helped create the mess. Sure, maybe you didn't make the mistake that made you two come to blows, but I bet you didn't react perfectly, or say the perfect things. Normally there is something you contributed to the problem that you could own up to.

While that is true, the point that really got me thinking is about those times where you absolutely did not cause the problem. You are in a fight with someone and 100 out of 100 strangers would not blame you for the fight. If any outsider looked into the situation they would say you are right and he or she is wrong. The only problem with this is none of that matters. Not if the person you are arguing with thinks you are wrong.

When you are in this situation you are faced with a difficult choice. You can either grit your teeth and apologize to the person for hurting them, even though it was there fault. Or you can sit on your pride and refuse to reconcile.

Really, it is a choice between your own pride or this relationship.

Oh man, so often I choose my pride.

It doesn't make sense to me. So many times I wish I had swallowed my pride, apologized to a person, even though I didn't think I did anything wrong, and salvage that relationship.

It's just hard to do.

So my question to you, is who do you need to apologize to? Even if you think they are to blame, are you willing to swallow your pride, accept that blame, and salvage that relationship?