With all the continued shootings and mass killings that take place in America and around the world, it truly takes a toll on one’s mind and soul. It is deeply disturbing. In light of such, I have continued to ponder the ways of violence being contrary to what we know of God in Jesus, the Messiah.
The words in quotes below come from a man who was once a religious fundamentalist who used violence to get things done for his God.
One day, as he journeyed to violently kill others in the name of his God, his life was altered. He came to find out his violent concept of God was wrong and his message was, thus, changed forever.
“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Many will know the words come from Paul of Tarsus. They specifically come from his letter to the Christians in the city of Rome. Even more, consider how these words ring out to Christians based in the capital of violence in Paul’s day.
What a way to live.
It is the Jesus way.