Our government policy is “We don’t negotiate with terrorists”- or “We don’t usually negotiate with terrorists” or “We only occasionally negotiate with terrorists” or whatever it is now. It is hard to keep up with the government sometimes. Anyway, I want to suggest that there is some benefit to the “we don’t” formula.
This idea can apply in other areas beyond governments. It can apply in church life. Churches don’t usually have real terrorists (that is frowned upon by the Christian faith and tends to be in other religions and philosophies) but they can have people who act terribly. May I recommend a
“we don’t negotiate with terrorists” approach to church life. That is, doing things in hateful or spiteful ways should not be acceptable in church life.
It can apply to parenting. Children are wonderful gifts from the Lord and certainly don’t fit into the terrorist camp. But they can be selfish and sinful. (They get that from their parents.) We should apply a “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” approach to parenting.
Here are three reasons governments, churches and parents should adopt a “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” standard.
1. We reward bad behavior. Bad behavior is not be be rewarded, but corrected. When we sin, God calls us to repentance, not diplomatic discussions. To summarize- repentance good, negotiation bad.
2. We get more terrorism. If you reward bad behavior, you tend to get more of it. Reward temper tantrums from you toddler and you are likely to get more temper tantrums. Reward a church member for meanness and you are likely to get more. Reward a terrorist for kidnapping and you might well expect more kidnaps.
3. We want better for them. We don’t negotiate because we want them to experience something far better. We want our toddlers to learn to be kind, to share and to resolve their problems more maturely. (And we want potty training. That would be nice too.) We want church members to confess their sins of inappropriate anger or words and find forgiveness from the Lord. (And for them to bring some nice food to our potlucks. That would be a plus.) We want terrorists to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We want them to discover the love and forgiveness that can be theirs. In short, we want them to stop being terrorists and to discover the far better plan God has for them.