I recently read what was presented as an African proverb:
When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.
(I’ve also seen it as “it is the grass that suffers”; the idea is the same)
Like most proverbs, this can be applied a number of different ways. Where I’ve tried to take it to heart is to remember that so often when I go to battle, somebody (or something) suffers. There is collateral damage.
So I’m trying to do better at choosing my battles. Is this Facebook argument worth the cost? Am I willing to damage friendships, reduce ministry effectiveness, expend valuable time over that political argument or that doctrinal discussion? Is that change at church important enough to cause others to leave our congregation?
Sometimes, of course, the answer is yes. Many times, however, I have to admit that even if I “win” the argument, I won’t accomplish much of anything that is positive. And the grass gets trampled.
I may have to print that one out and keep it above my computer.