The government has banned the sale of meat for a few days and it seems almost every one and their neighbor is protesting. I for one have decided to neither condone nor condemn the ban. In fact, as a Christian, I find it a little ironic to protest about every little thing, especially when I consider that the proprietor of my faith died without protest.
The tenets of my faith demand that I learn and master “the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4)
Also, since I celebrate both the divinity of Christ and his humanity, I can’t help but ask myself ‘What would Jesus advise us to do in this situation?’ The answer, in Jesus’ own words, comes rushing in even before I finish the question: “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5)
If you reflect on the attitude Jesus is asking us to adopt, you might almost hear him say, “And if anyone forbids you to eat meat for four days, don’t eat it for eight days.”
What Jesus is saying here is both profound and powerful. Many may misconstrue Jesus’ advice to submit as a sign of weakness, but I draw strength from it. Because here’s the thing, whether you realize it or not, it is your protest that gives your oppressors power over you. Your compliance, on the other hand, weakens them.
The way I see it, protesting is like advertising to everybody what buttons they should be pressing if they want to bother you, and then hoping they don’t. You can be sure people will press those buttons every opportunity they get. You don’t need to play into the hands of crooked politicians. They cook up these bans hoping you will give them some political mileage by protesting. Therefore, be wise and guard your peace zealously.
Don’t give people power over you. If you allow nothing to bother you, there is nothing anyone can do to bother you. And if there is nothing anyone can do to bother you, they won’t. The bans will fizzle out just like that — without protest.
It’s that simple.