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Only Love and Wisdom Can Prevail


With the invention of the internet and social media, today we literally have the world at our fingertips. And there is a full barrage of information available with it. It can be quite overwhelming at times. On Facebook alone there is a deluge of posts concerning everything from recipes, craft items, baby photos and such, to links to news articles regarding heinous crimes of rape, murder, torture, etc. It is the latter articles I would like to discuss.

In less than 30 minutes this morning, I read 3 different articles involving vile and evil acts committed by different individuals. And while I in no way, shape or form, condone the acts committed, there was something more that bothered me about these stories. It was in the responses left by many of the readers. Responses filled with hate.

Yes, these stories described horrible acts of violence toward innocent humans and animals. And no, I do not think these crimes should be dismissed, ignored, or go unpunished. While reading these stories a very deep sense of sorrow towards the victims was evoked in my heart, and even a sense of just rage. But I have to ask, where should that rage be focused?

I couldn’t help but notice the rage indicated in the readers’ comments. Several of the comments suggested torture, dismemberment and slow and painful death to the offenders. In these comments, the readers were exuding as much violence as the offenders themselves.

Should violence and hate be re-paid with more violence and hate? And will that solve the problem and make the world a better place for us?

The answer is no. It will not change the past, it will not make the future better, and it will not make the present any easier to live in.

The truth is that while it may be a sense of decency in a person’s heart that causes them to feel outraged over an atrocity, if they were to act on that violent rage, that seed of hatred would eventually rot away their soul. It would cause them to become no better than the very thing they hated. And the hatred continues to grow and spread. It will not make anything better, not even for the victims.

As a Christian, I was reminded of three things I have learned from the bible:

  1. To hate the sin, not the sinner. (James 5:19-20 AMP)
  2. Do not re-pay evil with evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 KJV)
  3. Overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 KJV)

Evil was unleashed in the world a long time ago, and it is alive and thriving at an unprecedented rate today. The enemy has many weapons and tactics to use against believers and non-believers alike, aimed directly at our hearts. He knows that if he can cause intense enough emotions in us, then we may stumble and fall into his traps.

I’ll admit, to obey the above three verses is impossible for me, apart from God’s Holy Spirit inside of me. The enemy is very clever in appealing to my sense of justice regarding what is right and fair. But through God’s wisdom I can see where the deceit is also appealing to a false sense of pride. Pride that causes me to think I have a right to sit in judgment over the sin of another. I might try to excuse that pride with thoughts such as, “I may not be perfect, but I’m not as bad as…” or “I could never do such a horrible thing myself”. And those thoughts would lead me to feeling justified in the desire to hate and seek revenge. Basically, I would be putting myself in God’s rightful place in judgment and sentencing.

The idea of forgiving those that would commit such atrocious acts of violence against an innocent being is a very hard concept to swallow. But one thing to consider is this: hate will only teach more hate and it will continue to spread to others. On the other hand, only by showing love can it be taught and spread. And forgiveness is a major part of love. It is the only way we can let go of the hate and overcome the evil.

Perhaps some of you that are reading this do not believe in God. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to convert you, that is not my job.) But I ask you to consider this…if you plant a tomato seed, do you expect it to grow cucumbers? Of course not. In the same manner, planting seeds of hate in your heart will not grow anything else but hate and no good can come from it. And if that is all we can show and teach, how can future generations learn anything but to hate more, becoming even more violent themselves? Isn’t inflicting that kind of hatred onto others or the next generation an act of violence in itself?

In conclusion, I ask anyone that might be reading this to consider it for a moment. Do you want to be like those offenders, spreading more violence and more hate? Or do you really want these atrocities to stop? One by one, one day at a time, we can make a difference with our own choices. Only love and wisdom can prevail.

 

 

 

 

 

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Psalms 73:26


My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever”. (Psalms 73:26 KJV)

I wish I could say that I have always walked with God, but that would be a lie. I have lived in the world’s way of darkness and sin. We all have. That is our “flesh”, and it is too weak to stand up to temptation.

But God, in His mercy and grace, gives us strength to walk a better path, His path. We can walk in victory against sin, overcoming it, but only if we accept Him and give ourselves completely to Him. Only after realizing and admitting that I am a sinner, could I sincerely ask for forgiveness. I truly wanted to live a better life. When I repented of my sins and was baptized in Jesus’ name, I was forgiven. And when I opened my heart completely, His Holy Spirit filled me and made me a new person, His child. (Acts 2:38)

That was 11 years ago. I still fall into temptations. I still make mistakes. I have not been made perfect, yet. But I have been delivered and set free! I have learned the truth of God’s Word and I have learned to trust in Him. He gives me the courage to face each day, no matter what happens. He gives me the strength to go through whatever trials come. And they do come! But as long as my heart is focused on the Lord, I have strength. It is when my attention strays away from Him that I fall down. It is through ignorance and deceit of the enemy that I fail. And those are the times that I learn the hardest lessons.

God is my strength! Because of Him, I have already overcome many obstacles and passed through many trials. And because of Him, I will have victory over more. Ultimately, I will be blessed with the greatest treasure imaginable…eternal life in His Holy presence! I admit that there are some things I like about this world. My family and friends, mountains, flowers, oceans and rivers, animals, chocolate, all these things I am very fond of. But in my heart, there is now a love that has grown so strong, a love for Jesus and to be with Him in heaven. That love surpasses any love I have here on earth. And that love is where my strength comes from, because He is love.

by Amber Leggette-Aldrich

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