In recent weeks, our news reports have been filled with news of people in conflict. There seems to be many war situations, where one part of a community is vehemently opposed to another and has taken up arms to make a point. We see crowds of protesters, taking to the streets, and making their demands heard. Guns are brought into the equation and the tension and possibilities for violence grows.
What is it in the human psyche that permits us to justify the injuring or of killing others? Why do we so quickly resort to hatred against each other? Even in our own homes, we experience ill will amongst our family, which can even there turn to violence. What is this within us that escalates bad feeling into physical aggression, even extreme violence?
This tendancy is one characteristic that separates us from our God. Behind it is the desire we foster to put ourselves first and make sure we have everything we think we need, regardless. Selfishness hurts us and those around us and is responsible for most of the ills of our society. We feel that if we put others first they will get the better of us and we will loose out. This is born of the idea that no one is in control, that we are alone in sorting out out life’s, and we most look out for number one.
Unbelief in a holy and loving God, is an idea that will keep us in slavery to the current world view, and will keep us away from the blessing of knowing God and putting him first. The thought of giving our lives to God is not one that we relish. However, we need to take a long look inside our hearts and see what is really there. Facing up is very painful, but God promises that if we come to him and confess our wrongdoing, He will freely forgive us.
He knows that putting yourself last (in earthly pecking orders) is the way to genuine blessing. He did this for us, and sent Jesus to give up his life, so that we could be forgiven and know true life. There has never been a greater sacrifice of one for another. The truth is, without him we are completely out of control and careering into chaos. Without this element of sacrifice in our own lives, we are and become, more and more selfish. Putting the other person first is so not-humam, but when we do put others first, the situation around us becomes better. Indeed, God requires that we present our whole selves to Him as a living sacrifice and bind ourselves to Holy and unselfish living.
Great strength is shown in being able to give way to other people, even allow them to “take advantage.” To respond to people around us in an unselfish way is God-like and full of faith. It demonstrates that we believe God’s promises and still trust that God is in control. It is being able to take the low place – really and truly. It is covering over the inadequacies of the other, and promoting their well-being regardless. It is listening to negativity and forgiving and responding with positive action. In short… Love conquers all.
As we watch our world degenerate into war zones, we can pray that love will overcome and the natural tendancy of the human heart, will not gain the upper hand. Ultimately, it cannot. Some day, all strife will cease, and wars will be forgotten and the redeemed people of God will live in peace…