NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

Response to Evil

Image result for charlottesville

Image Source

Our world constantly bombards us with sin and its effects. Shootings, riots, murders, natural disasters, hate, racism, prejudice, envy, cynicism, pride, selfishness and so much more. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. A lot of times I don’t know what to say, how to react, or what I should do in response to these things I know are wrong.

On the one hand, I want to speak up against the evil, say it’s wrong, and point people to do what’s right. I’ve seen a lot of this type of reaction on social media in the aftermath of Charlottesville. And I agree that staying silent is not the answer, trying to pretend these problems don’t exist is not a Christ-like response. Jesus entered into our pain and problems, into this sin-filled world and He chose to love.

The more I’ve been reading in God’s word, the more I see Jesus not only pointing out sin and it’s root: our hearts. But I also see Him choosing to love the people who are sinning. Along with standing up against evil and saying this is wrong, I think us Christians also need to speak in humility and love and pray for people. Without Christ, this is where we’re all headed; to selfishness, pride, sin, and hurting the people around us.

I could have been one of those people rioting except by the grace of God, I could be a murderer, except by the grace of God. I am no better than the racists, murderers, and judgmental hypocrites. My only hope is Christ, and this world’s only hope is Christ. We cannot make ourselves be good, we cannot make ourselves care for other people, we cannot make ourselves live the way we should. God has to change us at the root of the problem: our hearts.

We have to realize that we can’t beat sin on our own, not in our culture or politics or classrooms, or neighborhoods. We have to let Christ remove sin in our own hearts, and pray, asking Him to do the same in our friends, relatives, congressmen, neighbors, and even in the racists and hypocrites.

And we do not have to despair about what is happening in our country, because we know that this is not our home. Although we can try to make it the best it can be, this place will never be perfect. But one day Jesus will return and He will set up His perfect Kingdom where there will be no more slaves, no more marginalized, no more poor, no more racists, and no more selfish sinners. He has promised His followers this perfect future, and we must believe Him and put our hope in Him. And while we are living here, we must live for His eternal Kingdom and point our world to the only hope there is.

So anyway, that’s how I want to respond to this most recent violence. I’m stumbling and fumbling along to do it Jesus’s way, to love, forgive, pray and seek opportunities to speak truth in love. And even though I fail again and again, He has changed me and He is continuing to transform me. And one day I know He’ll take me home. So I hope this post encourages you today to not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21).

Leave a comment »

Forgiveness

Lonely, Boy, Child, Sad, Black And White, Atmosphere

Image Source

I had to go back in my blog posts and make sure I hadn’t already covered this subject, and I was a bit surprised to find that it had never come up, or at least not in the titles of my blogs. Recently I’ve been thinking about forgiveness and since I don’t think I’ve even done a blog post about it, I guess it’s time to.

Well, I was reading this morning in Matthew 18 about the servant who was forgiven a huge debt by his master and then didn’t show forgiveness to his fellow servant who only owed him a small amount of money. When his master found out he got pretty upset and threw the unforgiving servant in prison. At the end of the parable Jesus says “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Now don’t get me wrong, just because I’m a Christian and know a lot of facts about Jesus and the Bible, doesn’t mean that actually doing what God says is easy. I try to obey God, including when it’s doing something hard, like forgiving someone. But there are times when it just feels impossible. What that person said or did just hurt so much, was so unfair, and my heart does not want to forgive. At those times, I have to ask for help. God forgave me, of everything I’ve ever done, the times I ignored Him, when I didn’t do what He specifically told me to do, when I was lazy or selfish or prideful or arrogant. And He is able to help me forgive others.

And I know when He asks me to forgive, it really is for my own good. Letting go of those hurts is hard, yes, but holding onto them is painful too. I’ve seen so many people lose relationships because they couldn’t forgive. Those hurts may feel like huge things to let go of, but what God has forgiven us of is even greater. And we didn’t deserve His forgiveness any more than our friends and relatives deserve ours.

So anyway, that’s what I’ve been learning recently, and I thought I’d share and encourage you to show forgiveness today.

2 Comments »