I am catechising a group of 12 year old boys. Obviously, I want to teach them about the peace of Jesus (“turn the other cheek” Mt 5:39, “love your enemies” Mt 5:44), and the peace that is the gift of the Holy Spirit. But, on the other hand, I am attracted to the parts of the bible that reveal God as a warrior: “he trains my arms for battle” Ps 18:34 and “God is a warrior…Pharoah’s army he flung into the sea.” (Ex 15:3-4).
It is my intuition that both aspects are important and somehow complementary. But, I would like to know if there is a principle one can formulate which captures the delicate balance between fighting for the truth (sometime), and accepting the lashes (other times).