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 »

Jackie Robinson and Making a Difference

Image Source

The other night I got to see 42 the Jackie Robinson movie that was released a couple of years ago. I love historical films and seeing how people who stand up for what’s right can make a change in the lives around them. I was so impressed with the Christian elements in this story, especially when Jackie had to face verbal and sometimes physical abuse and constant threats but that by doing it, he brought racism into the light and showed it for what it was.

As the movie progressed it showed more and more people realizing their own racist views were wrong and they began to change and see the need for others to change as well. Racism was and still is a big problem in the world, but seeing how things were and how they are now, I’m excited to see improvement. And it gives me hope that other issues in our society these days can change as well.

But the way you bring about change is just as important as what you’re trying to change. Just because what you want to change is needed and important doesn’t mean you can go about it however you see fit and to the hurt of others. We need to face this world’s problems with a heavenly perspective and rely on Jesus’s strength. I’m still learning what that means practically.

Sometimes it might mean staying quiet and not fueling arguments. Jackie Robinson did that a lot, he had to resist the temptation to lash out and defend himself. Sometimes it means speaking up on someone else’s behalf like Jackie’s teammates started doing for him. And sometimes it’s pointing people back to what the truth is, as Branch Rickey did when he told the people around him what the Bible said about what they were doing. He wasn’t very popular, but sometimes that’s what is needed.

But over all these practical things, the biggest thing to remember is that change ultimately comes from God. We can have good intentions, say the right things, be a godly example to those around us and still nothing will change. What only God can fix is the root of every single problem in our world: the sinful heart. Without that change, any other change can’t happen or won’t last. So pray, pray, pray for God to work and follow where He leads, and one day Jesus will return and He will restore this world to perfection.

Leave a comment »

Big Hero 6 and the Importance of Relationships

Image Source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hero_6_(film)

I really really really wanted to see this movie and I got to go see it this past weekend. I usually love the animated Disney movies and this one was no exception. It had great characters, a well developed plot line, jokes and touching moments. Everything you would want in a good Disney movie. If you want to stop reading here and just go see it, that’s fine. Maybe you can read the rest once you’ve seen it, if you don’t want any spoilers.

But now on to my thoughts about some of the deeper messages in this film. One thing that stood out to me was the importance of friendships. It can be easy, especially in America to take the individualist approach and say I can handle it on my own, I don’t need help. The protagonist of the movie, Hiro, felt this way. But as the plot progresses, we see the importance of strong relationships. Not only are friends and family important in working through life’s difficulties, like grief, but they also help us stay on track and keep us from making mistakes that we’ll regret later.

In the plot of the movie, I really liked how close Hiro comes to playing a villain role, I think it shows that every person is capable of being a hero or a villain. Indeed Hiro and and the villain share similar goals; taking revenge on the person who was responsible for the death of someone they loved. But because Hiro has friends to tell him what’s right, even if he doesn’t want to hear it, he eventually becomes aware that revenge will not heal his hurt and he must let that desire go. He even tries to help the villain in this story see what he learned and stop the destruction, but it is too late for the villain and he continues down the path he has chosen.

These lessons of friendship and the ability in each person to be a hero or villain remind me of truth in my own life. As a Christian I know that I am a sinner, and that I am capable of horrible things and am no better than any other person, even a murderer. Just like Hiro, I have the capability of being a villain. But because Jesus has saved me, I can choose to follow Him, to do what is right and good, and be heroic. But I cannot do it alone, I need Jesus’s help and the help of a church family. It makes me sad to think that a lot of Christians think they can watch a sermon online or listen to some worship music and that’s all they need, when it really isn’t. Just like Hiro needed his brother, Baymax, and his friends from school to keep pointing him back to what was true and right, I need people in the church to remind me to follow Christ, to not give up, and encourage me when I’ve had a bad day.

So, that’s what stood out to me from this movie. I hope you’ll go see it, if you haven’t yet. I’d like to see it again, that’s for sure.

I’ll end with a preview.

1 Comment »