Sometimes I can be a glutton for punishment. Like yesterday for example. I watched one news story…which led to another similar news story…which led to another similar news story. Thanks Facebook.
Do you ever fall into that trap?
I can’t shake what I saw yesterday.
News story #1: A mother and her 8-year-old daughter enjoying a day out together watching their favorite soccer team…wearing matching jerseys of their favorite team…and their team won! A man who was a fan of the losing team targeted the mom and beat her face to a bloody pulp right in front of her daughter.
News story #2: A video. I don’t know the why and I will NOT search it again to find out but…outside of a McDonald’s…one girl took another girl down. Because of the angle of the video, I could only see the back of the girl punching the other girl on the ground…over and over again. I could HEAR the punches making contact with her face. All I could see of the girl was her legs flailing. She couldn’t get away. Meanwhile, her 2-year-old precious snack cake stood there watching her mom get beat, crying and kicking the person punching her mother. All kinds of people stood around watching and did NOTHING.
News story #3: A video. In a WalMart. Two girls got into it and started fist fighting…these were clearly two people that didn’t like each other and had a history. As they tumbled around in the store, punching each other, their children joined them in fighting. Young kids jumping in throwing punches and kicking and throwing things…helping their mom out…you know? Again, people just standing around watching…laughing.
We live in a broken world and this stuff–and much, much worse goes on every day. I just don’t see it.
This bothers me. It should bother me. It’s wrong. It’s evil.
Jesus is not in it…that is for sure.
But these stories…
They felt personal to me.
Let me explain what I mean.
All three stories include people who have given themselves the right to have their own way…no matter the cost and no matter who it affects. They act out of what they FEEL. They allow themselves to be led by their feelings.
All three stories have people on the outside that see what is going on but choose to do nothing to help the situation.
All three stories have children…precious children who are exposed and devastated and some that are already so infected by the bitterness of their parents that they join in to bring pain to others.
If I could use descriptive words to describe these scenes…I would say words like…
- Murderous hearts
- Lust for revenge
I felt broken over what bubbled to the surface in my thinking…
Were the people in these news stories Christians?
Is it even fair to state adamantly that they are NOT Christians?
I find it easy to judge them in those videos…but then I can hate my brother and justify my actions?
In the church, we may not be physically beating the crap out of each other but we inflict the same kind of damage to the Body with our words and our actions, holding grudges, unforgiveness and bitterness, encouraging divisions, judging, dismissing, shunning, hiding behind theology, or titles, or knowledge…
Don’t we know that the only difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is Christ?
Don’t we realize that we are all the same…in need of a Savior?
NEVER should we walk around and claim to be better than anyone else.
Praise Jesus, we don’t get what we deserve! We would all be dead if we got what we deserved!
So when the rubber meets the road…how can we tell the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian?
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
We all love those who love us back but what about those who aren’t so easy to love? What about loving someone when the situation and circumstances makes it hard to love them?
I can’t do it without JESUS…
Jesus on the throne…NOT ME.
When Jesus is bigger than everything else, we will overflow with the love that HE IS.
When we come to Christ and trust in Him and abide in Him…the fruit of that will be love…His love.
We don’t mainly imitate this love…we participate in it. ESPECIALLY when it’s hard.
What does it look like for you to love in a situation that is hard? And if you can’t or you simply won’t, what does that mean…according to God’s Word?
For me personally…I want to do what is right. I try to do what is right and love in hard situations. Usually when I find that I can’t or won’t do what is right, it is because of my own selfish pride. I’m quicker to respond to conviction than I used to be…but I still need work and, thankfully, God is faithful to finish the work that He has started in me.
It is only because of God’s relentless pursuit of my heart and my response to His first loving me that has kept me from making the headlines of a news story.
I want to look different than the world. God help me.