The Best Defense is a Good Offense
“The best defense is a good offense” is an old proverb that has been applied to many fields of endeavor, including games and military combat. Generally the idea is that offensive action preoccupies the opposition and ultimately its ability to directly harm. Mao Zedong opined that “the only real defense is active defense”, meaning defense for the purpose of counter-attacking and taking the offensive.Often success rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack. In reference to fighting terrorists, Matthew Levitt opines, “It’s important to pre-emptively strike at those who intend to do us harm.” The principle is echoed in the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu.
The best defense is a good offense
In some board games, such as Risk, one’s ability to build up armies depends on aggressively attacking so as to acquire territory; however, in Risk, luck in rolling the dice is the ultimate determining factor. Players who fail to do so, and concentrate instead on holding the line against enemy attack, will likely end up in a weak position.
Indepthinfo argues that this adage does not always apply: “When the battle rages between two players one should put every ounce of power in the offense, but when several players are involved, the political element changes this dynamic.” In chess, one’s ability to prevent enemy attacks often depends on maintaining the initiative – i.e., making a series of threats that the opponent must use his turns to parry, rather than launching his own attacks; thus, common tips used in conjunction with this adage are that the best way to upset your opponent’s plans is to become menacing and that the best way to stop an enemy threat to your own king is to attack his.
In sports such as soccer and basketball, the adage “the best defense is a good offense” is used to note that success can hinge on an effective offense that keeps the ball on the other team’s side of the field, thus not only creating scoring opportunities but preventing the opposing team from scoring.
In a culture like ours in modern America, which embraces diversity, to suggest that certain truths apply to everyone is downright offensive. Pointing out sin isn’t popular and many Christians are labeled as “intolerant” for refusing to accept certain behaviors and ideas.
Unfortunately, many people have embraced a distorted Christianity that tries to be “politically correct.” They don’t want to offend anyone, so they accept sin rather than confronting it. Ultimately, their words of “love” ring empty because they accept sins that ruin people’s lives.
Other Christians just try to avoid sinful culture altogether. They have been taught to go on the defense—to hide in their homes, churches and schools to shut the door on the evil influences of culture. This is where we end up having the church of “We Don’t Do That” and Christian schools appear no different than public schools.
But Jesus challenged His followers to be on the offense—to proclaim the truth without shame.
Our households, churches and schools should become staging areas rather than fortresses; training environments that equip God’s people to confront a sinful world instead of hiding from it.Jesus knows that the pagan world will resist, but He dares us to go there anyway, and to be His conduits for HIS building HIS church in those very places that are most morally decayed.
As we listen to Jesus’ challenge today, we as Christians should ask ourselves the important question: