The Crisis We Can Do Something About
I awoke one morning this week with a heavy burden to pray for our country. It was a day after another of the tweet-wars that captures the media’s attention. It was as if I could hear God saying, “I’m serious about Christian responses to accusations.”
Of course, I agreed that we have sunk to a low level of social interaction, and immediately prayed again that President Trump would stop the vitriolic tweeting. But there was more. There was a warning that hit me in the face.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them … 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 … 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 … Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. (Romans 12:14-21 NLT)
The Difference Christ Makes
That is not just for the President. That is the authoritative word of our Lord to all who have been blessed. (That’s us.) That is how Christians demonstrate the difference Christ makes in one’s life.
Anyone can be vindictive. Anyone can return insult for insult. People who have been delivered from the curse of disobedience and blessed with the grace of resurrection-life can do better. We are not receiving curses, so we don’t pass them on. We are recipients of blessings, so that is what we give away.
There is massive power released when we bless rather than react naturally. It is the secret weapon of the Christian. It cannot be defended. It is empowered by the authority of heaven. It takes the teeth out of the crouching tiger of evil. It overcomes evil with good.
The warning: If we don’t bless instead of curse, evil will conquer. God is very serious about our presumption. We are not in charge of revenge. We are too limited in our knowledge and too underdeveloped in our character. God alone can mete out true justice. We get to patiently wait for him to set everything right — and he will. He has paid a high price to do so.
Accusation and Slander Isn’t Working
The objection that some use is that the current trend toward accusation and slander is working. They see the enemies of their ideology being confronted with the same vitriol as they give. It is easy to reason that the only way to fight fire is with fire. We could console ourselves by remembering how long their opposition has been ruthless. “Finally, we have stood up to the vile attacks of the enemy,” we sigh. We must remember that God is not mocked. Whatever we sow will come up. (Galatians 6:7)
God’s mercy is longsuffering, but his justice is sure. For instance, God did not judge his people Israel for their idolatry on the first day of disobedience. They had years of believing that their rebellion was working, before their land was taken and their temple was destroyed. We must not erroneously conclude that we can ignore God’s order still avoid chaos.
A Movement of Blessing
Why not start a movement of blessing? I am not suggesting some religious drivel, but down in the dirt, real, praying for God to bless those who slander and accuse us. We don’t have to act like some school yard kid kicking back at bullies. We are sons and daughters of light. We know who we are and we know a power stronger than curses. Let’s use it.