If Diplomacy Always Failed
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21 ESV)
In Paul’s blog Who is to blame for the “Jihad Generation”
he references this quote. “Someone recently told me that “Diplomacy always fails; military confrontation alone is able to solve problems. As I reflected upon this quote; I realized that although diplomacy at times may fail it should be our first resort. If indeed, diplomacy always failed, and military confrontation alone were able to solve our problems we would’ve all become casualties of war. War is what happens when all attempts to be diplomatic fail, or one or both parties are unwilling to be diplomatic. When engaging in war there is no real winner. Yes, one may have fewer casualties, and ultimately one gets the outcome they desired, but at what cost…and was that cost necessary. War brings pain, and trauma…it separates mothers and fathers from their children, leaving them orphaned, wounded, and afraid. As we fight (go to war) for freedom, more freedoms are seemingly diminished. As we fight to give a voice to those voices that have gone unheard; there are many causalities…casualties of the heart, mind, and soul.
Some would argue that war is inevitable, and there are times when I would agree. However, war, and the casualties that are caused by war are only necessary when men’s hearts are totally hard, and all attempts to reason with the unreasonable have failed. When I reflect upon the wars that our country has participated in, and the wars of the Old Testament, especially those between man (obstinate toward God) and God (gracious and merciful towards man), these conflicts/war generally due to the pride or fear felt by humanity. Both pride and fear seem to leave us/humanity unwilling to submit to God call to love our neighbor as ourselves.
I see both the diplomatic side of God, and his willingness to go to war for peace and justice reflected in the war God waged against Pharaoh when he wouldn’t let the Israelites go. God was at first very diplomatic, and allowed Pharaoh the space, and grace needed to make a reasonable decision. However, Pharaoh overlooked reason, and diplomacy, trading it in for man made power, which ultimately lead to his plunder.
In several parts of our world right now war seems to be unending in several parts of the world, and the results continuing to be devastating. This past week in Pakistan 132 children were savagely killed by the Taliban. “The Taliban said they targeted a school that mostly admits soldiers’ children because the students aspired to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and target militants.”
Its hard to imagine God being diplomatic with the murderers of the innocent, but he is…and he calls those who follow him to seek diplomacy as well. To seek solutions that value life, and reflect accurately the character of God: just, merciful, gracious, righteous, and loving. Its hard for me being conditional with my love, mercy, and grace to fathom such a response, but as a disciple of Christ, one who has been commanded to go forth and make other disciples I feel that being diplomatic should be my first response, and when all else fails…and war is inevitable I must trust that God in His infinite wisdom and faithfulness will redeem every aspect of it’s tragic effects ushering in redemption for his people; allowing the Gospel to continue to go forward.