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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When Taking The First Step To Peace, Follow Jesus

A long, long time ago, there was an epic battle between Good and Evil. Good was more powerful and thus it had a choice. Good could have resorted to using force to annihilate evil but decided not to. Rather, Good decided to live in peace with Evil. Good didn't want to appease Evil but Good didn't want to destroy Evil either. So what did Good do?

Romans 5:6-10 tells us how Good won without appeasing evil. In particular, verse 10 tells us that while we were Good's enemies, Good reconciled us by having his Son die for us. So what we have today are followers of Good who were once evil.

The problem that is occurring is that Good's followers are not treating others as they have been treated. Rather than trying to be reconciled with those who have proclaimed themselves to be their enemies, Good's followers have decided that they must use all of their strength to destroy evil. As a result, Good's followers, and the rest of us, are now engaged in two wars and will possibly be fighting a third one. And how do they defend their behavior? These followers claim that, like a leopard's spots, evil cannot change.

But despite these actions by Good's followers, Good's example of how to win over enemies still stands. And so the question becomes why don't Good's followers follow Good's example? The answer might be that doing so would be too costly. For example, in describing Good's Son and what he would have to go through, part of Isaiah 53: 4 says:

"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows he carried;"

Feeling the pain of others was the first installment that Good's Son had to pay so that Evil could be changed and reconciled. And perhaps in this world where we learn to crave comfort and enjoy escaping, following the example that Good's Son provided has become too costly. So instead of being bothered by the troubles of others, we prefer to believe that Evil cannot change and thus our only solution is to eliminate it by force. But in so doing, we forget how we have been both treated and changed.

It is not that we can change everyone who is evil, but we will never know who can be changed and thus saved without treating others as we have been treated. To care for others as we have been cared for, we must start with understanding what they are going through and being disturbed by what they suffer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, hopeful and thought provoking. It makes me wish to see the small ways I might turn someone in a positive direction. I once heard that if you give people enough of a chance they will impress you. This reminds me of that. Thank you.