AT TIMES we’re impatient. People get under our skin. And the temptation to condemn them gets to us. So we do it. In our hearts, we cast them into the abyss. At least I have.
I’ve thought, “How disgusting they are.” Maybe not in those exact words, but that’s the sensation I might feel. I wish I didn’t.
And so, we are quick to not only judge, but to condemn. We send them straight to hell. Maybe not consciously, but perhaps the impulse burns somewhere inside us. Meanwhile, some fully embrace this feeling. And they stir up others to join in the burning of witches.
Still, it’s true, people do bad, nasty things. This is our harsh reality. In the lust for power, they hatch sophisticated plans to enslave the masses. They commit all kinds of depravity for all the world to see. Some are cruel to the ones closest to them. Unimaginable hurt happens to the weak and vulnerable.
So I wonder, why doesn’t God just smite them down? In the Old Testament, the hand of God was mighty and swift. Thankfully, I did not live in OT times. Otherwise, I probably would have burned in Sodom and Gomorrah.
In my life, the Lord was slow to anger. He was merciful and gracious.
But how do we deal with the intolerable and the wicked? Jesus said, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
Here’s how I see it. You’re nobody’s fool, but you depend on and trust God at a supernatural level. There is no other explanation I can find. How else can we explain continued forgiveness and love in the face of evil? It comes from God, and it manifests in his people. A precious flower blooms in the barren desert.
The world will tell you to cut them off or strike them down. But circumstances might not let you. Or your heart tells you no, I must stay. Nobody should remain in a place of abuse, but then there’s the matter of the heart.
The Spirit of Christ lives in those who refuse to condemn.
How much am I desiring this Spirit? How much did this Spirit do to forgive me and carry me home?
In the world we face today, the finger pointing and blame game reach epic proportions. Yes, consequences are real, as they should be. Still, very little is spoken about forgiveness.
And if forgiveness dies, so does Christianity.
Wisdom does not deny the deadly nature of sin. It doesn’t let emotion block healing either. Wisdom gives you a clear eye. You see the enemy trying to trap you forever in anger, resentment, or the desire to set things right.
But you step nimbly aside and fly away like a dove. Forgiving is freedom.
No, it’s not easy to resolve the wounds we suffer from. But can we give it up to God? Can we let it go? Can we break free of the urge to convince others to be enraged?
Scream into your pillow if you must. Release the hurt. Let go of the guilt. Set it free to fly far away from you. Yes, a scar might remain, but let it be a memory, a mark of liberty won by a strong heart and trust in the Lord.
Then as sons and daughters of the Almighty, let us cry out to him. Cry out in a loud voice.
Let us hatch our own Spirit guided plans. Plans to help and heal. Plans to seek and find those that suffer and give them hope. Plans that show repentance opens the door to salvation. Plans that encourage and feed faith.
We can’t do it on our own. We need God. We need each other. We need an anointing of the Spirit. We must return to the truth that we too have been forgiven of so very much. And in the face of this powerful truth, no evil can stand.
The reality of the Resurrection is our indestructible defense.
When necessary, Jesus clearly denounced sin. But his focus was not on the problem, but the solution. His focus was on the will of his Father:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
So let us go forth into this world of wolves as the sheep of the Lord. And may the Lamb of God work through us to spread his Good News.
The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. We are forgiven. We can forgive. We can live freely in abundant life. This is our conversion. This is our faith.
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