My entry today concerns one of the oldest issues humans face on a daily basis. When we are threatened or made to feel as though we are going to lose something of value; when what we have worked for becomes the target of interest by others, we often find ways to return the threat in order to cause the original threat to go away. These kinds of tactics to protect our family or property or sense of wellbeing have been practiced for centuries. The part that often gets overlooked however, pertains to the possible outcome when these tactics get ramped up to a level where we take the law into our own hands and usually the result is violence.
When we covet our own status or when we make a decision that what we have acquired is ours exclusively particularly in light of wealth, religion, race or culture then the lengths we will go to guard that status is to first of all become a verbal insult to the threat and if that doesn’t bring the results we are wanting then violent attacks may very well be the next step. The ultimate outcome of this violence is murder. We witnessed such an outcome at our nations capitol on January 6, 2021 when a police officer was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher thrown by a rioter. The officer later died.
If we can find a way to justify our actions that alleviates the threat whether real or imagined, even if our justification is filled with hatred of others, then our behavior will be reflected to people who share our so called status and soon they become our allies. If enough people reflect our hatred of others because we have convinced ourselves that they are the enemy, and we are convinced we are going to somehow lose our precious status, then it is almost guaranteed these intense feelings will bring about violence and murder.
As was indicated earlier violence and murder have been a part of human kind since Cain killed his brother Able as recorded in the book of Genesis of the Bible. What I hold up for the reader to consider pertains to how we can justify acts of violence even though it plainly says in the ten commandments, “Thou shall not kill.;” Not long ago I read where a local minister communicated to his congregation that it was of God to take up arms against the enemy. I suppose loving your enemy and doing good to those who despitefully use you spoken by Jesus wasn’t taken into consideration.
Here is something to at least think about. If it is true that God is love, then God cannot be hate at the same time. If Jesus is the Prince of Peace then he can’t be the Prince of war at the same time. You can’t have it both ways. War, anger and conflict originates within the imagination of mankind. When we project these kinds of thoughts onto a God of Love then we change the God of Love into a god of war, anger and conflict making this self made god our ally. When we are convinced that we have this god on our side then we give ourselves permission to do harm to anyone we decide is our enemy and this god justifies our actions.
I hope you will consider that the God of Love is just that, Love! God is not angry with you. God loves you! God is not out to judge you or to separate you from himself. God loves you and he sent his only begotten son, Jesus the Christ to communicate that love to us all. I don’t know about you but I have experienced hatred and anger from others and it was not pleasant. I have made my share of mistakes. I’ve had to make decisions that affected others for which I was not appreciated. However, my choice in spite of such decisions is to love and to be loved. Finally consider this: The conduit that brings God’s love to fruition is forgiveness. The proof of that for me is what Jesus is recorded to have said from the cross upon which he was crucified, “… Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”