In the survival of the fittest battles day to day we know that only a few of us can and will come out on top. Exploitation of scarce resources, extracting value, and winning in our capitalistic world all presumes we understand and agree with the situation and struggle we face. Granted that there are a few who take a different tact; Green Peace and Friends of the Earth are current examples making the news. However, in general, the world is aggressively moving towards adopting this value system as their standard.
I catch myself reacting to others with exactly this mindset. We are competing, only a few will survive to reach the top, and competition is the accepted form of living. Sports confirm this assumption. Differing compensation and benefits schemes document the framework. Aggressive behavior and disagreements on all fronts confirm our fears that drive our behavior. My conversations and relationships with those who have a different agenda confirm my approach. My concern for those who might lose the battle is a reluctant acceptance of the natural outcome of losing a battle or war. My obligation for another person at any point – short, medium, or long term – is limited.
Am I, do we, operating with the right assumptions? God says no.
It is easy to see why this can happen. In any situation “for instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can. . .” (Romans 14.2) You can fill in the blank. “Another, with a different background, might assume. . .” (Romans 14.3) The competition and fight between the two viewpoints is engaged quickly becoming personal.
There is an alternative approach.
God says we all stand equal. God says that we are extremely valuable, not because of anything that we have done, represent, or stand for; we are priceless because of what He did for us. God also states we are at war with an adversary that is using us as pawns against Him.
We are not adversaries. Your burdens are mine. How can I help?