Revenge or Love?

Matt 5:43-45

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

In the wake of Paris and the horrific terror attacks killing so many people, this is the last thing most people want to hear. Our typical knee-jerk reaction is “an eye for an eye”. Revenge on those who caused so much pain. It’s also the easiest thing to do because our hearts want to repay those who hurt so many. My question is, what will this change in our world? What will reacting in such a violent way do for the rest of the world when we should be living in peace? It will not promote peace, that’s a guarantee.

Violence begets violence. But we have the power to break the chain. It’s the hardest thing to do but it’s also the most powerful. While it may be hard to believe, God loves the bombers just as much as He loves you and me. He has given everyone here on this earth equal opportunity to repent and devote themselves to Him and love. What chance has the man who goes and blows up himself and the 50 people in coffee shop when no one has been praying for his repentance and forgiveness? We have to realize that every single one of us have offended God just as badly as any one of these terrorists. If God will forgive us, He will forgive them, but they have to see Who God is first.

Right now they think they are serving God, a vengeful god who wants them to annihilate the infidels. They think that because we do not serve their “god”  that we must die. Is that what we have been taught, too? No, absolutely not and we cannot expect God to look at us in approval if we deny that He has told us to love one another, especially our enemies. The world considers them radical, and they are right because the terrorists will go to many lengths to do what they believe is right. In that case, I want to be considered a radical, too. Because I should go to any length to do what I believe is right, even if it’s not violent and hateful and bloody. My radicalism will be love because that’s Who God is.

God doesn’t create terror on cities. He doesn’t tell people to blow themselves up. He doesn’t tell men to take hostages and shoot them. He doesn’t tell men to capture journalists and record their beheading on video. He doesn’t guide men to go hide in occupied towns and use women and children for cover. He doesn’t promote those actions because those actions are not in love.

The way I see it, a lot of people are going to die. It’s that simple and there’s nothing we can do to change that because the violence is already in so many people’s hearts. I’m not for the violence and I definitely refuse to contribute to it, but no matter what I do, I know I do not have the power to stop it. What I do have is a Friend in high places who does have the power to stop it. He even has the power to change the hearts of all those people who are so set on violence. I have the ability to have a one on one conversation with my Friend, my Father and my God. What’s even more incredible is that God hears me! He actually listens to what I have to say! You better believe I’m going to go talk to Him, because if He will listen to me and actually help to change the hearts of men who are persecuting so many others, then I’m going to do it!

So call me a radical. Call me stupid. Call me weak. I don’t care, for when I am weak, He is strong. But just think, if we all start talking to Him about changing the hearts of so many who need it and loving them because God created them, what will be accomplished except the greatest miracle in our lifetime?

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