Four Things We Can Do To Fight Back Against Violence and Evil
I see the images. Kids walking single file. Hands grasping the shoulders in front of them.
I want to run to them, protect them, comfort them in their fear. Tell them they are safe, they are loved in the middle of this horrific and seemingly God-forsaken world.
The hands raised on their way to safety are just a symbol of the hands that were raised as a sacrifice for our safety. Our salvation. And yeah, the same evil that tried to destroy these treasures of ours in a school building, tried to destroy the treasure of heaven —that carpenter who came and loved, and served, and gave—everything of Himself.
Sometimes it feels like evil wins, like hope has given up her last breath.
Will we allow fear to conquer us? Do we furrow our treasures and hope that evil passes us by as it swoons in the dead of night?
What do we do as Christ-followers in response to evil in this world? We do what Jesus taught us to do:
When we feel like hating, we choose to love.
We humbly remember that though we deserved to be hated for the scabs that cover our own sin-disease, we were loved right there in our brokenness.
He never hated us into eternity. God's fierce, roaring love invaded our hate-filled souls and extracted us from our darkest calamity. He snatched us out of hell by lovingly trading it for a temporary hell of His own.
Because He loved us so well, so we choose to love others.
John 15:12 (ESV) - This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
When we feel like closing ourselves in, we reach out.
We reach out because if we don’t, darkness wins. We reach out because we as Christians are the light of the world.
When tragedy strikes and fear sets in, our first instinct is to huddle down within the safe confines of our tremored distrust. We forget we have this hope buried down deep that should rise up big inside. That should make us both brave and bold to live, to love, to give others the light that once transformed our dim, shadowed souls.
We have the Light that can rescue the world from darkness.
Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV) —You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
When we feel like clasping judgment in the palms of our hands, we forgive.
Judgment will never give us the satisfaction we desire. It will only simmer into bitterness until it boils as a fomenting rage within our hearts.
As we stand in the circle surrounding the accused one, we silently ask ourselves if we will be the first to cast a stone of judgment —this hard, violent, death without hope of repentance. Or will we remember that it was God in His great love for us who saw us in our damnable condition, and forgave the unforgivable?
We forgive because we have been forgiven.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV) —Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
When we feel like abandoning hope, we never let go.
Because just when we think that it has given up the ghost, hope breathes again…anyway. Yeah, the dark couldn’t keep away the light, and the grave could not win this ferocious, heavenly battle. And hope is a gift that only One could give and none can take away.
Hebrews 10:23 (NIV) — Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
So I remind myself that the same evil that tried to destroy these treasures of ours in a school building, tried to destroy the treasure of heaven —that carpenter who came and loved, and served, and gave—everything of Himself.
Love won. And on the darkest day when evil threatens to steal the day, love will always win.
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891