Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)
I don't normally comment on world events in this post. I don't ever want it to be about politics or news events. I want this always to be about God. When you look at the hatred in the world these days, it is very disturbing. And I've been thinking and praying about it the last few days.
I wanted to post about the text Galatians 3:28 that says "There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus." or some other text that says we are all God's children but that is not where God led me when I prayed and asked him "What can I do?"
He led me to the text above. As Christians, we have to be very real and honest about our own behavior and our own circumstances. I do something every single day that is offensive to Christ. I cannot come near to the behavior God desires of me. But I am forgiven every single day. And every single day, I am drawn into a relationship that I do not deserve.
Am I saying we should accept hatred and bigotry and violence as acceptable? No. Not by a long shot. What I am saying though, is that Jesus never fought hatred with hatred. He never used the same means his enemies did to fix what was wrong with his world. And while I do think we are also called to defend the innocent, I think how we do it is really important.
Our hearts need to be where God wants them to be or we will not be able to make the difference we so very much desire. Hating those who are offensive is exactly the opposite of what God calls us to do (Matthew 5:44).
Is it hard to do this? Oh yeah. Does it come naturally to us? Heck no. Does it seem right and fair? No, but if God treated us the way we deserve and gave us what was fair, we'd all be dead. I only know of one way to do this. Focus on Jesus. When I am angry and bitter, give it to God and ask him to take it away. (This will have to happen multiple times.) Show love even when I don't want to and pray, pray, pray about how God wants to use me for his glory.
God tells us his way of love is the best way. Question is, are we willing to try it?