The Blue Cheese Game
If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 2 Peter 2:20-21
Just out of high school, I worked as a camp counselor for a couple summers, where all the guys played a stupid game called Blue Cheese. The rules were simple – Whenever you said a word that started with the letter B, you must immediately say Blue Cheese, or else any other guy could hit you in the arm as hard as he could. Like I said – it was a stupid game. One day, my older brother was visiting, completely oblivious to Blue Cheese. When he accidentally said a word that started with B, one of the other counselors smoked him in the arm. Ow! What was that for!? My brother had no idea why he’d just gotten punched by a total stranger, and I was enraged. That’s my brother! So, I lurked near the offender, just waiting for him to slip up. I could think of nothing else until I’d evened the score. When he inevitably said some B-word, I pounced, pasting him as hard as I could, taking my vengeance.
This is our nature. When we’ve been wronged, it’s only natural to wrong in return. When we’re injured, we plot and plan about hurting those who’ve offended us until we can take our revenge. If we can’t get even, we obsess about it, daydreaming about one day having enough power to even the score. Hurt people want to hurt people.
Peter said that, as Christians, we must abandon this impulse. Using Jesus as an example, he said that when wronged, we must choose not to respond with evil. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). In refusing to react, He committed no sin. No one would have been more justified than Christ in striking down those who struck him, yet for the sake of living righteously, he didn’t retaliate. Rather, he left his justice up to God.
This isn’t easy. When wronged, we’re convinced we’re justified in a hateful response. In our hatred though, Peter said that we become wrong ourselves. Our hatred is toxic to our own souls. As difficult as it is, the only way to remain in the right is to refuse to respond with hate. When it comes to revenge, the only way to win – just like with the Blue Cheese game – is to choose not to play.