I want to begin today with a belief of mine — Whatever our religious or spiritual convictions we are never outside the scope of God’s grace.
In my postings, I reference Jesus as an example because he is what I know, and as Luis would say he is where the light shines brightest for me. I am confident that if I spent as much time with another or faith or religion, I would be able to quote references to examples of other faiths. What is important to me, and I think to God, is we not separate from one another or classify others with different beliefs as winners or losers. Surely Christ didn’t do so, but there I go referencing my faith.
What do we do with the anger and hurt we feel when we are in conflict with our neighbor? When someone challenges our opinions especially about something we believe in strongly, we feel attacked, challenged, and the after effects of this attack can be long-standing and bitter. Do we have to live in emotional turmoil as the price of disagreement?
When Christ came into the world it was in turmoil. Romans hated Jews, people expected a Messiah to come wielding a mighty sword. But when Jesus arrived he didn’t preach war but mercy, forgiveness, and understanding. Rather than offering political overthrow he said “My peace I give to you not as the world gives, but as God gives.”
He was a healer. He went to the core of what was causing people to refuse to reconcile — fear. As a physician he recognized that if reconciliation was to occur, if peace is to be found, that we need to face our fears. We are afraid we are going to lose, that we are not in control, that we aren’t right, and because of those fears we become defensive and set up barriers to reconciliation.
Times change, but people do not. Consider the message of old and apply it to today. Turn your fears over to God and he will comfort with “Do not be afraid.” He says forgive, and forgive, and forgive again, because if we do not we will no longer be in a relationship with our neighbors and for healing to occur we must stay together. Practice compassion — it is the power given us by God to bring peace into even the most violent of conflict. Compassion heals our fears.
God Bless and enjoy the weekend! W.
Share this post
About the author