Luke 6: 26-38 “There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests- look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular. To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do think that’s charity? This stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never, I promise, regret it. Love out this God-created identity the what our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults, unless, of course, you want the same treatment. don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back- given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
The volatile events that have been happening in our country the last two weeks are disheartening. Two different cases involving police officers and suspects. Both suspects died under different circumstances, but the public’s reaction is treating them the same. There is a string of actions and reactions that should never have taken place, starting with any type of criminal activity on the suspects’ part. That’s my opinion and I will go no further on it because I believe this is where We The People are making a big mistake.
Jesus told us to love our enemies. For a person who’s filled with pride, that is the hardest thing to do. The majority of citizens in this country is proving that, because there has been nothing but judging and criticizing from the general public to the media to members of government. The important thing in their eyes is who’s right, not who’s in need.
Did we ever stop to think about events in these different peoples’ lives leading up to each tragedy? Why would a kid be so tempted to possibly rob a store if his life was so good and he was such a generous and loving young man? He was in need of more generosity and love than he was getting. Why would a police office sitting in his car grab the most deadliest weapon in reaction to a threat? He was in need of confidence when he had not had sufficient reassurance in himself. Why would a father and husband resort to petty soliciting for money, he was in need of an opportunity through someone else’s generosity to earn a living to provide for his family. Why would a police officer aggressively grab a larger man who wasn’t submitting quickly and decisively but wasn’t resisting aggressively? He, also, had a point to prove to boost his confidence when it had not been given to him at some point before in his life.
Those are my guesses and I certainly do not know any of these people. My point is, where is the love? It wasn’t anywhere near in any of these situations, but does that mean we, as a whole society, can’t turn it around now? The longer we allow this pride and hate to push forward, the harder it will be for us to allow love in. Forgiveness, love, generosity and fellowship are the answers to these tragedies, not violence, destruction, and hate. If we are Christian, we must listen to what Jesus instructed and do our best to follow. Otherwise, there will be no peace. Not around us and certainly not within us.