The Wrong Way

The year was 1990.  It was evening, just after 8:30.  I was coming out of practice for a group I was in and as I exited the door of the school building, found myself surrounded by three other students that should not have been hanging out at the school at that time in the evening.

What I didn't know was why.  What I didn't know was why me.  What I didn't know was what next.

As I stood, some of the questions slowly began to get answered.  A "friend" of mine apparently had did something to one of them and they were there for revenge.   I had no idea what had been done, I was not there, but my loose association resulted in me becoming a target.

As we stood there for what seemed like hours, but was more like a minute or so, one of the kids got impatient and decided to take a swing at me.  He punched me square in the nose.  My eyes immediately watered, I couldn't see, so my only defense that I could think of at the time... charge him and take him to the ground.

Looking back, it was a pour decision.  3 against 1 and being on the ground is not a good idea, thankfully, after a few rolls on the ground, the "fight" was broke up before it could get worse.

The chapter I am reading this week is titled: "Wanting What is Right, When You Are Wronged"

The first line of the devotion...."If an army of EVIL men were out to assail you..."
brought the above story back into remembrance for me.
I don't dwell on it, to be honest, I don't even think about it.  Funny how certain things can trigger memories.

My response was probably natural.  I suppose I could have ran.  I suppose I could have took the punch and stood there.  There are a lot of things I could have done, but in the end, it turned out ok.  The boys got suspended for a number of days, I did not.

I didn't seek revenge or find another way back at them.  I left well enough alone.  No further incidents occurred after that evening.  They were suspended for a few days, but not long after I was passing them in the hallways at school.

Some questions come to mind after reading the devotion.   What would be the proper response?
Is it ok to defend myself or should I actually turn my other cheek (I don't have two noses).
Where does self-defense come in to play when dealing with Evil?

The devotion deals more with the heart than it does with the events.  It speaks of not being drawn into the game of trying to get the last word in.  It speaks of not being drawn into the continual replaying of events that only make you more angry, more sorry, more worried.

Bottom line, as I read it, is that the devotion says not to allow circumstances change our focus.
Don't let the wrong that has been done turn my focus away from God.   That most certainly would be the wrong way.  When I begin to give more attention to the circumstances and my responses to those circumstances rather than allow God to begin healing, then I am going against what God has intended.


  1. What a story! Could have not turned out as well as it did. But yes, Ryan, it's so important not to lose our focus on God, no matter what the circumstance we face. He will give us the strength and the wisdom to do the right thing.

    1. Some have tried, self included, to have the strength and the wisdom without the focus on God. Usually that ends badly.

  2. Recently I had an encounter just like this one, only worse, I was on the giving end (the bad guy) Still haven't recovered. Unfortunately the good guys ended up being my family. Yikes!

    1. Sorry to hear that... it can be a struggle at times. I do hope for a speedy recovery for all involved, physically, relationally, and spiritually.


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