Remain Idealistic, Selfless, and Dynamically Faithful

Remain Idealistic, Selfless, and Dynamically Faithful


I came across this quote by John Foster Dulles that I thought had potential for interesting application-

“The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.”


My most immediate reaction was “we reserve for war the finest human qualities?” After rolling that around in my mind for a bit, I decided there is some truth in it, particularly when defining very carefully what “qualities” you have in mind. I suppose human experience with military conflict makes it obvious enough that such things are not all that we see when men go to war, but as I debate the idea in my own mind, this premise floats to the surface:  We should not wait until we are at war to be idealistic, selfless, and faithful.


By “idealistic,” I mean choosing the best example we have (The Ideal) and following it in all things. For all of mankind, that is Christ, whether we accept Him or not. I suspect that is the direction Dulles was going with it as well, because he developed the idea further with “self sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.”


A useful (for me, anyway) application of the idea is to the “spiritual warfare” aspect of living as a Christian. (Eph 6; 2 Cor 6:7, 2 Cor 10:4) Though we are usually conscious of this ongoing conflict, we won’t always feel like we are at war. There will be quiet times during which we enjoy the peace and security of a growing fellowship with God. The saddest truth of life on earth, however, is this-


The activity of our adversary (1 Pet 5:8) in this war will always, eventually, bring us back to the front lines. He is depicted as ever searching, prowling, and hungry for the conflict. He brings no virtue or nobility to the battle with him. He fights dirty and is relentless. For this reason this world will, in fact, never know a lasting peace. During the lulls in the battles of life, we need to take care that we remain idealistic, selfless, and dynamically faithful. If we reserve only for times of obvious conflict the best of our qualities, we will certainly sacrifice many of the peaceful times we could have known and enjoyed. Far more critical, however, and tragic is the impending loss of that final and everlasting peace that is offered only to those who live idealistically, selflessly, righteously, and faithfully.

 Written by Daniel Starr